Los Angeles Archdiocese Must Release Priests’ Personnel Records

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, meaning that the personnel files of two priests accused of child molestation must be turned over to prosecutors. Although this case affects only the files of Michael Baker and George Miller, it is expected to lead to more subpoenas in cases of sexual abuse by priests.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony had fought the subpoenas, claiming that they were unconstitutional interference in church business. District Attorney Steve Cooley praised the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case, as it upholds lower court decisions making “evidence of criminality” available to the authorities, reports the Los Angeles Times. Cooley went on to say that “this is a decisive victory for victims of clerical abuse.” “We are grateful that the nation’s highest court, like so many California courts, is telling the cardinal to abide by the laws of the land,” said Mary Grant, regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, according to the LA Times.

LEARN MORE Read Angela Bonavoglia’s account of the priest sex abuse scandal in Ms.

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Los Angeles Times 4/17/06, 4/18/06; New York Times 4/18/06

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