The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on July 17, 1997 · 30
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 30

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Thursday, July 17, 1997
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B6 THE BOSTON GLOBE THURSDAY, JULY 17, 1997 ' if'1"" ; M.mii .. 'wr-'H See the Business Section Pg. C3 Help Found - for Small Businesses Is Macular Degeneration Robbing You Of Your Eyesight? Call today for a bs information kit and self test 1-800-585-0516 K3The Foundation Fighting Blindness CITY SPORTS Slay probe witness accused of perjury j By Patricia Nealon GLOBE STAFF A key witness in the investigation into the September 1992 murder of Northwest Airlines baggage handler Susan Taraskiewicz has been charged with lying to the federal grand jury probing the case. Robert Brooks, 37, a former Northwest baggage handler who now lives in Minnesota, was charged yesterday with perjury and obstruction of justice for telling the grand jury he had spoken to a suspect in the case only once, after Taras-kiewicz's battered body was found in the trunk of her car near Logan Airport on Sept. 14, 1992. In fact, the indictment charges, Brooks had spoken to the suspect -another former Northwest baggage handler identified only as "Mr. X" -three times, including a 22-minute conversation on Sept. 13, 1992, the day Taraskiewicz was killed. Both Brooks and the unnamed suspect were convicted of mail theft and credit card fraud in connection with a sweeping investigation into a I I V f I fc 1 it I i i i ! A 1 I ft E -4 ft 1 1 I I I I I I F- k. 1 i I I I I t ft on Pimio, UMqq mil Big Hal Imsgino (twill aiaPmicPanErzzL EARN FREE PHOTO STUFF, FREE EXTRA PRINTS OR FILM AND FREE TRAVEL ... Pick up an application at any Ritz Camera location or call 1-800-52-FOCUS . . . when you make purchases anywnere visa is accepted. 5J Stylus Epic DLX Quartz Date '35mm f2.8 lens w Quartz Date Back New Champagne Color Panoramic j'w""w jfT " " i in i urn Cl Kj'''"" Maxima Zoom 145 QD Outfit Super Powerful 38-145mm Zoom Lens Lens made in Germany by Schneider! Red-eye Reduction and Much More! 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Hampshire Mai 413-584-9953 Holyoke Mall 413-5344219 Berkshire MaH 413-499-7547 GreendaleMall ' 508-853-8843 - New Hampshire SteeptegateMall 603-225-4800 Mall of New Hampshire 603-669-1620 Pheasant Lane Mai 603-891-0033 Fox Run Mai 603-436-0706 Rockingham Park Mai 603-890-3364 Maine & Rhode Island Maine Mai 207-772-7764 945 Bald Hill Rd. 401-823-0073 Some mercraxise may be imited ii quantities or availat only al select tocabons. $1 million stolen credit card ring that operated out of mail-handling facilities at Northwest Airlines at Logan Airport. In all, 36 people were charged in connection with the nationwide ring. Taraskiewicz, 27, of Saugus, was last seen alive at 1 a.m. on Sept. 13, 1992, when she went to get sandwiches for herself and co-workers. Her body was found the next day in the trunk of her car, in front of an auto body shop on Route 1, near the airport. Police said she had been savagely beaten and stabbed. Investigators at first dismissed any connection between her murder and the stolen credit card ring. But last September, armed with fresh leads from the FBI, a federal grand jury in Boston began investigating whether the two were linked. The investigation continues, but Assistant US Attorney David J. Apfel refused to discuss the status of the probe yesterday. Brooks was called to testify twice - in April and May. Both times he stuck by the story he originally told a state trooper investigating the murder on Sept 22, 1992: that rje had only spoken to "Mr. X" once, engaging in "small talk" about it after the body was found. -. But, according to the indictment, Brooks actually spoke to "Mr. X" ' three times - once on the day of tWt murder and twice more, on Sept. 18 and Sept. 19, 1992. At least two other defendants in the credit card theft case were also; called before the grand jury. Both Joseph Nuzzo, who was sentenced to 37 months in prison, and Joseph ;. : Faretra, who was sentenced to 21, months, were taken from federal.? prison last September to testify." ' Faretra, 33, of Winthrop, was arrest--ed last week in connection with a stabbing at a Boston nightclub. Taraskiewicz's parents have been'; relentless in the pursuit of whoever" killed their daughter, erecting billboards with her photo near Logan., Airport and offering a $250,000 re-.'i ward. ' i Lawsuit alleges bias at women-only gym SUIT Continued from Page Bl places of "public accommodation," which include places where recreation and exercise take place. Foster, who lives close to Health-Works' Stuart Street club, said he wants to join because of its convenient location and superior equipment. "The facilities are three times as good as any other gym in the area," said Foster, who while living in New York City filed a dozen or more complaints against bars that offered free happy-hour drinks to women and not to men. But many HealthWorks members faced with the prospect of losing their gym's single-sex status said that their rights to privacy should outweigh one man's workout wish. "It's one of the biggest reasons I joined," said Meg Flaherty, 30, who works near the gym. "You don't have to worry about what you look like, what you're wearing or how sweaty you get." Flaherty, a Brookline resident who works out about five times a week, echoed the sentiments of many other club members who said that having no men around reduces stress and eliminates a "meat-market" atmosphere. "There's no men here gawking, no singles scene," she said. Mark Harrington, co-president of HealthWorks with his wife Patricia, said a recent poll showed that members overwhelmingly prefer the single-sex policy, and 20 percent said they would quit the club if men were allowed in the gym. "This isn't about discrimination," he said. "It's about providing a safe and professional atmosphere for women who need privacy for a number of reasons." The club's case makes reference to a Massachusetts law mandating that "a person shall have a right against unreasonable, substantial or serious interference with his privacy." More than 800 members responded to the gym's request for opinions on the lawsuit, Harrington said. Among those who favored the single-sex policy were victims of sexual abuse, including one who said she was raped at a coed gym. Some women cited religious reasons and body-image concerns, while others said they simply wanted to avoid exercising in a "social scene." Harrington said about 10 women supported men's rights to have equal access to the health club. "I have great respect for coed gyms," said HealthWorks vice president Hannah Karass. "I just think women should have the right to work out in a private setting." A hearing for summary judgment, which could end the case with a decision for Foster, is scheduled for Aug. 8. If Foster's motion is denied, the trial is set to begin Sept. 29. Foster said he would welcome a compromise, such as the setting aside of certain aerobics"classes and exercise rooms for women only. He called this a case of reverse discrimination, saying women today are realizing the Nike is on the other foot. "They've broken downso many doors, and now they're finding they & j 1 i 1 -. ' ; t , .iii ' j x f . GLOBE STAFF PHOTO DAVID L RYAN " James J. Foster, a lawyer, is -challenging in court the practice of excluding men from the HealthWorks Fitness Center in Back Bay. have to open some of their own," he" said. Ironically, one door women have broken down is the one that used to separate the segregated men's and women's weight-lifting rooms at the , L Street Bathhouse in South Boston. In 1995, the city ordered both rooms open to both sexes after 29-year-old Debra DiCenso was arrested for trespassing when she went into the men's weight room, complaining that-the women's was much smaller and had only half as much equipment Foster initially took his com-' plaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, but his filing of a civil suit took the case out : of the agency's hands. ' "When you have these health clubs that exclude one gender because of that gender, it creates a po- tential violation of our anti-discrimi- nation laws," said MCAD chairman Charles Walker Jr. "But you have to balance all the interests ... Both sexes have the right to maintain a , certain amount of privacy." While the legal battle continues, , HealthWorks member Margaret : Cain said one benefit of an all-women club goes beyond privacy. "I used to belong to a coed club, and I just never got a chance at the apparatus," said Cain, 55. "It was al: ways full of sweaty men."

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