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Indiana district wants public barred from molestation case

April 11, 2021 GMT

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana school district wants to bar the public from the civil trial of a man sentenced to 120 years in prison for molesting 20 children while working at a YMCA and an elementary school.

Attorneys for the Greater Clark County School Corporation filed a motion last week seeking to exclude the public from the civil case against Michael Begin. That suit, filed by one of his molesting victims, alleges the school district was negligent in its duties to protect students from abuse.

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The motion asks that the public be prevented from accessing the court’s transcript.

Allowing such public access would mean “details related to the minor will be available to the public at large and will remain that way in perpetuity into their adulthood because there is no way to ‘claw’ something back once it is publicly disseminated,” the motion states, the News and Tribune reported.

A second motion filed by the district’s attorney seeks to prevent the plaintiff, family or attorney from disclosing information to the news media.

A hearing on the motions has not been conducted, but a final pretrial conference is scheduled for April 21 in Clark County Circuit No. 1, with a jury trial set for May 17.

Begin, 21, pleaded guilty in January 2019 to 20 counts of child molestation and was sentenced by a Clark County judge to the maximum 120-year sentence, with the final 20 years to be served on probation.

The Jeffersonville man faces more than 10 civil lawsuits stemming from his abuse of children prosecutors said ranged in age from 3 to 8. Most of those cases include the school district and the YMCA as defendants.

The plaintiff in the case set for trial May 17 has reached a resolution with the YMCA.