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Court denies bid to publish accuser's name

July 20, 2007 at 2:35 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, July 20 (UPI) -- A New York appeals court ruled an attorney can't publish the name of a 15-year-old girl who accused his client, Broadway actor James Barbour, of sexual abuse.

In its ruling Thursday, the unanimous Appellate Division panel ruled that not publishing the girl's name did not violate the attorney's First Amendment rights nor Barbour's Sixth Amendment right to effective counsel, the New York Journal reported Friday.

The attorney, Ronald Fischetti, wanted to publish the girl's name to investigate whether she ever falsely accused a man of abuse.

"It is appropriate to take into consideration here both the privacy interests of the complainant herself, and the interest of the State in encouraging victims of such crimes generally to report these offenses without fear of exposure," Justice David B. Saxe wrote.

Fischetti had asked the trial court judge for permission to publicize a hotline for information about the alleged victim, who was 15 in 2001 when Barbour allegedly seduced her and engaged in oral sex with her.

Barbour, 41, has had numerous roles on Broadway, including the lead in "Urinetown" and "Beauty and the Beast."

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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