Priest Asks That Records Be Blocked from Release

Monterey County Herald
September 10, 2006

Los Angeles (AP) - A former Los Angeles priest accused of sexually abusing four people as children is asking an appeals court to block the release of his church personnel records.

Lynn Caffoe, who was suspended from the priesthood 15 years ago after being accused of molestation, claims disclosure of the confidential files would violate his rights.

Attorney Katherine K. Freberg, who represents the four alleged victims, predicted the files would show "the church's continuing cover-up and protection of these priests."

"Father Caffoe and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will do anything possible to keep these documents from seeing the light of day," Freberg said.

Caffoe's civil trial is scheduled to begin in November.

His attorney, Donald H. Steier, said Friday his client's appeal to the 2nd District Court in Los Angeles asserts a number of individual rights, including privacy, attorney-client privilege and physician-patient privilege.

The archdiocese has fought to keep its records from plaintiffs' attorneys and prosecutors, citing the church's constitutional rights and other privileges.

In April the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to turn over the documents to the county grand jury, and a trial judge ruled they must also go to the Caffoe plaintiffs.

According to summaries of his personnel files, Caffoe was suspended in 1991 after law enforcement opened an investigation into two claims of sexual misconduct.


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