US judge unseals files of priests accused of abuse

October 24, 2010 21:56

Thousands of pages of documents from the sealed personnel files of Roman Catholic priests accused of sexually molesting children have been released on the orders of a San Diego judge.

Attorneys for plaintiffs in the litigation against the Diocese of San Diego made some of the 10,000 pages of files on 48 priests public on Sunday.Retired Judge William C. Pate ruled late Friday that internal church documents pertaining to priests who had been convicted, credibly accused or named in molestation lawsuits could be released.

Attorneys say the files could show how much the diocese knew about abusive priests, when they knew it and if church officials engaged in a cover-up.

A spokesperson for the San Diego diocese did not immediately return a call for comment Sunday.

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