Joliet Diocese Releases Abuse Records

NBC Chicago
March 12, 2013

The Catholic Diocese of Joliet said Tuesday lifted the veil on internal documents that reportedly detail sexual abuse committed by priests going back to the 1960s.

The release is part of a lawsuit settlement involving Fr. James Burnett. Lawyers were beginning the process of reviewing the hundreds of pages of documents and redacting victims' names before releasing the information to the public.

The diocese said it has substantiated abuse claims against Burnett by three people. The settlement also includes an undisclosed amount of money to one of the victims.

"The tragic history of child abuse in the Diocese of Joliet has unfolded publicly over a long period. No human action, really, can fix the past. My focus is on the future, trying to do everything in my power to assure that the children of this diocese are safe," Joliet Diocese Bishop Daniel Conlon said in a statement.

Separately, the diocese also added dozens of names to a list of priests with credible allegations against them. The list, published to the diocese website, lists 34 priests, many of whom have already been accused in lawsuits or have been convicted.

Among those added to the list Tuesday is Alejandro Flores, who leaped from a church balcony in an apparent suicide attempt after being accused of molesting a child. He was sentenced in 2010 to four years in prison.


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