21 Lawsuits to Be Filed against San Diego Diocese
15 Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse in New Lawsuits
NBCSandiego.com [San Diego CA]
December 22, 2003
SAN DIEGO -- Nearly two dozen lawsuits will be filed in San Diego Superior Court Tuesday against the San Diego Diocese, alleging abuse by priests, NBC 7/39 reported.
The lawsuits will be brought by 21 San Diegans who say priests sexually abused them. The lawsuits allege sexual abuse by 15 priests in the San Diego Diocese from 1961 through 1980.
One of the accused priests, Father Franz Robier, who has since died, allegedly abused children while assigned to the Holy Spirit Church in Oak Park.
Dec. 31 is the deadline for victims to take legal action after California lawmakers suspended the statute of limitations for one year. If victims don't file by then, they may never be able to.
Nationwide, there have been hundreds of lawsuits against the church. By the end of this year, the San Diego Diocese alone reportedly will be facing about 100 cases.
Religious leaders have promised transparency and cooperation, but attorneys say that hasn't happened.
"They have fought at every step of the process to keep the documents and information from the public," one attorney said.
The San Diego Diocese released a statement Monday night, saying in part that church officials have been and continue to be open to addressing, reviewing and investigating all accusations made known to them.
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