Pennsylvania attorney general to challenge court order halting priest sex abuse grand jury report

Morning Call

June 29, 2018

By Steve Esack

Harrisburg – Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Friday he will challenge the state Supreme Court’s order postponing publication of a grand jury report about child sex abuse and cover-ups in six Catholic dioceses, including Allentown.

Shapiro plans to file an appeal Monday of the order forbidding him to release the report, which also covers the Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton dioceses.

“There are legal filings the court must decide,” Shapiro said in a statement. “In acting on Monday, we are hopeful the court will expeditiously decide these issues and lift the stay.

“The people of Pennsylvania have a right to see the report, know who is attempting to block its release and why, and to hear the voices of the victims of sexual abuse within the church,” he said.

Grand jury secrecy hides reason for Supreme Court order barring release of priest sex abuse report
The contents of the legal brief Shapiro’s office files will be placed under wraps per the court order sealing most records in the case from public view.

Also Friday, seven news organizations filed a motion to intervene in the case in a bid to argue to the court that it should release the report. If the court decides it needs more time to consider the legal challenges, it could immediately order a version of the report that shields from view only those parts that are in question, lawyers for the news organizations wrote.

The court also should make public the filings and dockets in the case, which would be consistent with practice in other grand jury matters, with redactions if necessary, the news organizations wrote.

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