BishopAccountability.org has posted thousands of pages of documents produced by the Franciscan Friars of California related to nine Franciscan brothers or priests who were confirmed as or admitted to being child molesters. The documents also include the transcripts of the depositions of the child abuse victims, clergy supervisors and others.
The release of the documents comes years after 25 Santa Barbara abuse survivors brought a civil lawsuit against the Franciscan Friars in 2006. Part of the that settlement included a $28 million award to the victims from the Roman Catholic Church, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a news release, Bob Eckert, an abuse victim and party to the lawsuit said “This is a victory for all of the brave men and women – terribly abused as little boys and little girls – who have forced this historic disclosure.”
The release of the documents has been the root of a bitter battle between the parties and the church, which was ultimately decided by the California Supreme Court. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said, “Bob and his fellow survivors fought to make these records public to protect children and warn parents in the towns were the abusers are now living….We are trying to reverse the harm caused by decades of refusal by the Franciscan hierarchy to report these men to law enforcement.”
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Franciscan Friars of California release Records as Part of Sex Abuse Settlement