Dozens more priests ac­cused of child sex abuse

The Fresno Bee - - News -

Dozens more Catholic priests who served in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia have been ac­cused of sex­u­ally abus­ing chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to two re­ports is­sued Thurs­day.

Ad­vo­cates for sur­vivors of child sex abuse com­piled a list of 72 priests they say served in the Dio­cese of Or­ange and have been ac­cused of abuse. That’s many more than the 14 such cler­ics listed by the dio­cese in 2016.

The Arch­dio­cese of Los An­ge­les on Thurs­day up­dated its tally of ac­cused priests for the first time in a decade, adding 54 more for a to­tal of 323 cler­ics ac­cused in such in­ci­dents.

The moves come as ad­vo­cates de­mand more trans­parency and push to hold church of­fi­cials ac­count­able for child sex abuse cases in coun­ties in Cal­i­for­nia and else­where – even when the in­ci­dents are too old to bring crim­i­nal charges or to sue.

Mike Reck, an at­tor­ney for Jeff An­der­son & As­so­ciates, said the law firm com­piled its list us­ing pub­licly avail­able in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing crim­i­nal cases, law­suits and press state­ments. He said the firm doesn’t know the where­abouts of nearly half of these priests, who may or may not still be alive.

“We im­plore the dio­cese to do bet­ter and to do more, be­cause the sur­vivors de­serve more and de­serve bet­ter,” Reck told re­porters.

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