Lawsuit filed against California Catholic bishops over child sexual abuse

(KGTV) - A lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Catholic archdioceses and dioceses in California, including San Diego, for allegedly covering up cases of child sexual abuse.

The Archdioceses of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago were named in the nuisance lawsuit filed in Los Angeles by Minneapolis-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates.

Dioceses in San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, Monterey, and Santa Rosa were also named in the suit.

Along with the lawsuit, the law firm released a report that “contains the names of clergy associated with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who have been accused of sexual misconduct. While lawsuits were filed involving many of these alleged perpetrators, the vast majority of the claims against these individuals have been settled or have not been fully evaluated in a civil court.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT

In a Tuesday morning press conference, attorney Jeff Anderson said, “Catholic bishops have engaged in dangerous practices. There is, and has been, a grave peril to children in communities across the state. Some of those predator priests have been moved out of the Archdiocese of [Los Angeles] over the years to various locations.”

Anderson also added that Catholic bishops have a “playbook” used “to move, to transfer, to hide, to conceal and keep secret, not only the identities of the offenders, but their histories and the documents that reflect their crimes over the years. Even more importantly, the ‘playbook’ includes a practice of concealing and hiding the top officials, present and past, that have been complicit in the cover-up of these crimes.”

A spokesperson for the Diocese of San Diego watched the press conference and told 10News it didn’t focus on the present.

“What they talked about this morning didn’t have anything to do with protecting children today and the work that we do to do that,” said Kevin Kevin Eckery, Communications and Public Affairs for the Diocese of San Diego.

Eckery says the San Diego area hasn’t had an instance of a priest abusing a child in 15 years.

“The report that they distributed was based on publicly available information because Los Angeles has released the names of hundreds of priests, we’ve released the names of over 50 and we’re still looking to make sure that we release a complete list,” Eckery said.


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