Advocate Says Sealing Records Would Discourage Victims
Prosecutor Wants Documents Kept Closed [Cleveland OH]
July 18, 2003

CLEVELAND -- An advocate for people sexually abused by priests wants a judge to deny the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's request to seal church records.

David Clohessy is national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which is based in Chicago. He said sealing the records would discourage abuse victims from coming forward.

Prosecutor Bill Mason has changed his position on disclosure of the documents. He earlier had advocated that the documents be publicly released. Mason directed a grand jury investigation of alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Cleveland Roman Catholic Diocese.

The investigation led to indictments against one priest and six church employees. Allegations against 145 priests were reviewed, but some cases were too old to pursue under the statute of limitations.


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