Somerset County

Legal Intelligencer
February 27, 1992

The state Superior Court has ruled the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese must turn over information for a civil suit against a priest accused of sexual molestation.

The court Tuesday upheld a Somerset County judge's ruling that requires the diocese to turn over personnel files and other documents about the Rev. Francis Luddy, the former pastor of St. Mary Church in Windber.

The ruling is the first by an appeals court on whether a church can refuse to turn over documents to a civil court because they are in "secret archive files" under the church's "Code of Canon Law."

A 22-year-old Akron, Ohio, man filed suit in 1988 against Luddy contending the priest sexually abused him when he was 9 or 10 years old until he was 16.


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