The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Friday, August 23, 2013, 2:19 p.m.

Judge denies gag order in Bethel abuse case

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A Fairbanks judge has turned down a defense attorney's request for a gag order to prevent the Alaska Office of Children's Services from releasing information about a former foster parent and daycare operator who is accused of sexually abusing two children in his care.
The decision by Superior Court Judge Douglas Blankenship was issued in two criminal cases against Peter Tony, 69, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Tony and his late wife, Marilyn, were foster care parents in Bethel for 14 years, ending in 1998. The couple then operated a child care center in Bethel.
Tony is accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old foster daughter in 1998, and a 4-year-old last year at the day care center.
His attorney, Mark Osterman, requested the gag order, which was denied Monday. Osterman, with the state Office of Public Advocacy, had argued that the information released by OCS could hurt Tony's chances for a fair trial.
Reporters requested and had received copies of some of the couple's foster care licensing file. Many pages were withheld and portions of the file were redacted.
According to the partial file, there had been at least six complaints about the foster home. The 1998 sexual abuse allegation was the only report confirmed, according to the records.
In his decision, Blankenship wrote that the defense hadn't made its case. The judge also said that OCS did not appear to cross any lines when it released the information.
"The court cannot justify a prior restraint on the First Amendment right of the press to obtain information under the Alaska Public Disclosure statutes," Blankenship wrote.
Blankenship is hearing the case because of prosecution objections to one Bethel judge and defense objections to another judge there.
The judge cautioned attorneys on both sides to avoid releasing any information or making any comments that could hurt Tony's chances of a fair trial.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

HeraldNet highlights

Lofty potential for drones
Lofty potential for drones: Aircraft could be used in real estate, other businesses
A community of kindness
A community of kindness: Seahawks home a display of affection for couple's daughter
Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (7 new photos)
Super snacks
Super snacks: Best finger-food recipes to make for the big game
SnoCoSocial