Archdiocese of St. Louis fights judge’s order …

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Archdiocese of St. Louis fights judge’s order to release unprecedented level of abuse records

By Jennifer S. Mann 314-621-580487

ST. LOUIS • The first priest defrocked here as the child abuse scandal erupted in the Roman Catholic Church is now at the center of a lawsuit burrowing more deeply into the issue than ever before.

A civil suit against Joseph Ross has the potential to reveal two decades of internal records on sexual abuse allegations made against St. Louis priests, if a judge’s order holds.

The suit, which also names Archbishop Robert Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis, was filed in 2011 by a 19-year-old woman who says Ross began abusing her 16 years ago at St. Cronan’s Church.

Ross had been convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy at a University City parish a decade earlier, and was sent away for treatment, then reassigned to the new parish. Years later, additional abuse allegations surfaced.

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