School owner won't testify in Moxley case.

Connecticut Post, Friday, September 25, 1998
By DANIEL TEPFER, Staff writer

BRIDGEPORT _ The owner of a private school in Maine may have overheard 
a nephew of Ethel Kennedy confess to killing a young Greenwich girl 
more than 20 years ago, but he wasn't going to admit it to a grand jury 
on Thursday. 

Joseph Ricci, the owner and executive director of the Elan 
School in Poland, Maine, spent several hours behind locked doors in 
Superior Court with prosecutors and one-man grand juror Judge George Thim, 
but refused to testify about any conversations he might have had or 
overheard involving Michael Skakel, who attended Elan from 1978 to 1980.

Ricci's lawyer, Edward MacColl, said later: "We have a duty to protect the 
confidences of kids who attended the facility at the time Mr. Skakel 
attended the facility." 

But that didn't let the rather flamboyant Ricci, who had twice run 
unsuccessfully for governor of Maine, off the hook. 

Moments after emerging from the grand jury room he was served by 
State Inspector Frank Garr with an application for a court order directing 
him to testify.

Ricci, his lawyers, state prosecutors and lawyers for the Skakel family 
then went before Superior Court Judge G. Sarsfield Ford, who scheduled a 
hearing on the order for Oct. 8. 

At that time Ricci will have to prove he is legally protected from having 
to testify.  His position will be supported by Michael Skakel's lawyer, 
Michael Sherman, who on Thursday filed a motion for an injunction to 
prevent Ricci from  testifying.

Later, Ricci refused to divulge anything he said or was said to him before 
the grand juror. Surrounded by media, however, he added, "I really don't 
have anything to offer."

Fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club 
Oct. 30, 1975, on the grounds of her family's home in the exclusive gated 
community of Belle Haven.

No one has been charged in the slaying.

© 1998 Connecticut Post.
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