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BOSTON -- 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.
The family of Jeffrey Curley of Cambridge said the North American Man/Boy Love Association and its website which is now offline incited the attempted molestation and murder of the boy on Oct. 1, 1997.
One of two men convicted in the killing, Charles Jaynes, 25, reportedly viewed the group's website shortly before the killing, and also had in his possession some of NAMBLA's publications. Also convicted in the killing was 24-year-old Salvatore Sicari.
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 Boston Globe Wednesday. "It has to do with communications on a website, 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, who represents the Curleys, said he is glad the ACLU is defending NAMBLA, because he has had trouble locating the group's members.
Harvey Silverglate, an ACLU board member, said Wednesday 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.
The ACLU also will act as a surrogate for NAMBLA, allowing its members to defend themselves in court while remaining anonymous.According to the Globe, 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 were sexually obsessed with the boy, lured him from his Cambridge neighborhood with the promise of a new bike, and then smothered him with a gasoline-soaked rag when he resisted their sexual advances. They then stuffed him into a concrete-filled container and dumped it into a Maine river.
Sicari, convicted of first-degree murder, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Jaynes' second-degree murder and kidnapping convictions enable him to seek parole in 23 years.
The Curleys last week were awarded $328 million by a superior court jury in a civil suit against Jaynes and Sicari.
Copyright (c) 2000 The Associated Press