Judge: Activist can shield ‘ministerial’ visits

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) – A judge has ruled that a Kansas abortion opponent can shield from disclosure ministerial visits with the killer of abortion provider George Tiller.

U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten on Friday reversed a magistrate judge’s decision that Angel Dillard’s communications with convicted murderer Scott Roeder were not protected because she was not an ordained minister. Marten found that Dillard she was acting as a lay minister.

But Marten also said Dillard must disclose communications with another inmate who claims Dillard hired him to stalk a Wichita doctor training to do abortions after Tiller’s death. Dillard contends the inmate tried to blackmail her after getting out of prison.

The judge says regardless of who is telling the truth such a relationship is not covered by the priest-penitent privilege.

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