Better grave than slave

A-C-L-U to represent group that advocates sex between men and boys

By Associated Press, 8/31/2000 07:34

BOSTON (AP) The American Civil Liberties Union will represent a group that advocates sex between men and boys in a lawsuit brought by the family of a slain 10-year-old boy.

The family of Jeffrey Curley of Cambridge said the North American Man/Boy Love Association and its Web site which is now offline incited the murder of the boy Oct. 1, 1997.

One of two men convicted in the killing, Charles Jaynes, 25, of Brockton, reportedly viewed the group's Web site shortly before the killing, and also had in his possession some of NAMBLA's publications. Also convicted in the killing was Salvatore Sicari, 24, of Cambridge. The ACLU said the case, filed in federal court in mid-May, involves issues of freedom of speech and association.

''For us, it is a fundamental First Amendment case,'' John Roberts, executive director of the Massachusetts branch of the ACLU, told The Boston Globe for Thursday's editions. ''It has to do with communications on a Web site, and material that does not promote any kind of criminal behavior whatsoever.''

ACLU officials said NAMBLA members deny encouraging coercion, rape or violence.

Attorney Lawrence Frisoli, of Cambridge, who represents the Curleys, said he is glad the ACLU is defending NAMBLA, because he has had trouble locating the group's members.

ACLU board member Harvey Silverglate said that the group's attorneys will try to block any attempt by the Curleys to get NAMBLA's membership lists, or other materials identifying members. He cited U.S. Supreme Court cases from the 1960s that protected the NAACP's civil rights activities in the south.

The ACLU also will act as a surrogate for NAMBLA, allowing its members to defend themselves in court while remaining anonymous. NAMBLA officials in the past have said their main goal is the abolition of age-of-consent laws that classify sex with children as rape.

At two separate trials last year, prosecutors said Jaynes and Sicari suffocated, murdered and molested the boy before stuffing his body into a concrete-filled container and dumping it into a Maine river.

Aug. 23, the Curleys were awarded $328 million by a Middlesex Superior Court jury in a civil suit against Jaynes and Sicari.

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