SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 13, 2013

Prosecutors fighting request to seal case

Rape charge was dropped by DA in 2010

(Continued)

Those revisions to the law were prompted by accounts of individuals who have been denied jobs or other opportunities as a result of their criminal records.

But prosecutors say the provision for sealing “nol prossed” cases requires the sealing to be in the interest of “substantial justice,” such as when a person is mistakenly charged.

Prosecutor Marcia Slingerland argued that in the Banks case, the girl testified before the grand jury, which found sufficient evidence to indict him. She also said there is a “strong Constitutional presumption” against sealing records, which, like court proceedings, are presumed to be open and available to the public.

Courts have set a high bar for those trying to challenge that presumption of openness, Slingerland argued, and mere privacy concerns or a fear of the loss of future opportunities is not sufficient.

A hearing on the request is scheduled for Oct. 15.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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