April 30, 2005

Diocesan records sought


By Traci Shurley
Special to the Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH _ Attorneys for the Star-Telegram and The Dallas Morning News asked a state district judge Friday to unseal records in a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth that involved allegations of sexual abuse by a priest.

The motion says state District Judge Len Wade failed to follow a Texas Rule of Civil Procedure when he placed a protective order on diocesan records having to do with ``clerics, other than Thomas H. Teczar, against whom allegations have been made involving the sexual misconduct of minors.''

Early this month, the diocese announced that it would pay a total of more than $4 million to two men to settle a 2003 lawsuit. The men accused Teczar, a former priest in the diocese, of raping and groping them in the early 1990s in Ranger

In October 2004, Wade sealed some records submitted by the diocese during the pretrial preparations for the suit. Wade ordered that the records be returned to the diocese within 45 days of the conclusion of the suit.

His order covered the diocese's files on priests other than Teczar.

Posted by kshaw at April 30, 2005 04:50 AM