April 18, 2006

LA Archdiocese Stung By Supreme Court Decision


POSTED: 8:22 am PDT April 18, 2006
UPDATED: 9:09 am PDT April 18, 2006

LOS ANGELES -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles found itself smarting Tuesday after being dealt a major legal setback by the United States Supreme Court. On Monday the court refused to hear arguments from the archdiocese as to why the internal files of two priests accused of molesting children should not be turned over to a grand jury. That had the effect of letting stand lower court rulings against the archdiocese.

"This is a decisive victory for victims of clerical abuse," said Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley. "It's unfortunate that it took four years of litigation to reach this day of justice for victims. "The U.S. Supreme Court's denial to review this matter establishes an important principle that evidence of criminality be made available to appropriate authorities," he added.

The District Attorney's Office had sought the personnel files, but the Archdiocese resisted, citing constitutional issues.

"Today's court decision that allows the release to the Los Angeles County District Attorney of 14 documents -- or 21 pages -- concerning two priests is disappointing," according to a statement released by the Archdiocese. "We accept the court's ruling. This ruling will have no effect on the ongoing efforts of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to settle the civil cases through mediation."

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2006 11:23 AM