|Judge Keeps Priest List Secret
April 20, 2009
ST. PAUL, Minn., Apr 20, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A judge in Minnesota Monday ruled two Catholic dioceses in the state can, for now, keep secret a list of their priests suspected of sexual abuse.
Ramsey County Judge Gregg Johnson's decision in favor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona came in a lawsuit brought by Jeff Anderson on behalf of an alleged abuse victim, the Star Tribune reported.
Johnson said Anderson is entitled to the list but is barred from making it public as he had intended to do, the Minneapolis newspaper said.
Attorneys for the church argued the list should remain private because church leaders had included all accused priests regardless whether the charges were proven. Only those charges supported by evidence will b e allowed at trial.
"We are pleased that Judge Johnson agreed with us that these matters should be determined at the time of the actual trial," the archdiocese said in a statement. "Once the evidence is presented in the courtroom, then the judge will determine what, if anything, should be disclosed. That is all we were asking: to avoid premature disclosure that would have damaged a potentially innocent individual."
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