A year later, most of documents seized in a raid of Dallas diocese offices ordered returned as sexual assault investigation continues

Dallas Morning News

May 29, 2020

By David Tarrant

One of the five former priests named in the May 2019 search warrant was arrested in January.

[PHOTO: Dallas Catholic Diocese Chancellor Greg Caridi accepts boxes of documents that police had seized on May 15, 2019. State District Judge Brandon Birmingham ordered that any record that “exceeds the scope of the search warrant as written,” to be returned by police to the diocese. Some records were also exempt from disclosure because they were protected by attorney-client privilege. This shipment of boxes was returned to the diocese’s pastoral center on Nov. 7, 2019. Another shipment was returned Jan. 21, 2020.]

A year after police searched Dallas Catholic Diocese offices for records related to allegations of sexual abuse by priests, most of the documents seized in the raid were returned to the church as beyond the scope of the police investigation. And charges have been filed against only one of the five former priests, who are targets of the investigation.

Dallas Bishop Edward Burns condemned the May 15, 2019 raid, which involved dozens of law enforcement officers, as “unnecessary and sensational,” in a statement released by the diocese Thursday.

Church officials had already provided personnel files “for all the priests named in the warrant,” and had been cooperating with the police requests, Burns said in the statement, which reported that “99 % of the items seized” were returned to the diocese.

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