May 18, 2005

Files show Catholic diocese knew of molest allegations against priests for years

Monterey Herald

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Roman Catholic officials in Orange County knew for years of allegations of sexual misconduct against priests and lay workers but did little to warn parishioners or prevent future abuse, personnel files show.

The private personnel files of the 14 priests and one lay person were released Tuesday after Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman ruled that to do so was in the state's "compelling interest in protecting children from abuse." The files of five other priests and three lay teachers were withheld because those individuals contested the release.

The decision was heralded by the priests' accusers, who reached a record-breaking $100 million settlement with the diocese in December after nearly two years of negotiations. As part of that agreement, the diocese agreed not to block the release of private files on the accused priests and lay workers.

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2005 05:25 AM