Pa. high court taps ex-Sandusky judge to oversee redaction of Catholic clergy sex abuse report

The Inquirer

July 30, 2018

by Liz Navratil

Harrisburg – A senior judge known for his work — and ultimate recusal — on the Jerry Sandusky case has been appointed to oversee the planned redactions to a controversial grand jury report outlining decades of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy across the state.

The state Supreme Court, in a two-sentence order Monday, appointed Judge John M. Cleland of McKean County to serve as a special master in the clergy abuse case. The court offered no insight into how it selected Cleland.

As special master, Cleland will preside over any legal disputes regarding redactions to the more than 800-page report documenting sexual abuse and cover-ups in six Catholic dioceses across the state. It is expected to be released next month.

The report’s release has been the subject of intense legal wrangling in recent weeks, much of it under seal. Lawyers for roughly two dozen current and former clergy members have asked the high court to block the release of portions of the report pertaining to them, saying that the sections are inaccurate or unfairly tarnish their clients’ reputations.

The court on Friday ordered a redacted copy of the report released while it weighs larger arguments pertaining to that group of clergy members.

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