Diocese of Duluth ordered to turn over sex abuse documents

Grand Forks Herald

By Tom Olsen on Jan 28, 2015

The Diocese of Duluth has been ordered for the first time to turn over a broader range of internal documents detailing child sexual abuse cases to plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit.

Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann on Tuesday ordered the diocese to disclose all documents detailing abuse that is alleged to have occurred prior to 1978.

The order was issued in an ongoing suit filed by “Doe 30,” an unidentified man who said he was abused by Father James Vincent Fitzgerald at St. Catherine’s Church in Squaw Lake in the 1970s. The case is one of three pending suits against the diocese.

The diocese will have until Feb. 17 to produce the documents, which will remain under court seal.

“It’s a very important order,” said Mike Finnegan, an attorney representing the abuse victim. “It allows us to see how the diocese was handling abuse overall.”

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