Documents Show Scope of Priest Abuse Complaints

Posted: Jan 31, 2014 9:52 AM by The Associated Press

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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Documents released by the Archdiocese of St. Louis as part of a civil lawsuit show that 16 church employees had at least five sex abuse complaints made against them in the decades before such cases were publicly known.

The archdiocese released the information while fighting demands for further disclosures in a lawsuit filed by an alleged victim of the since-defrocked Rev. Joseph Ross.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nearly half of the 240 abuse complaints against 115 priests and other church employees received over a 20-year period were made in 2002. The incidents dated back as far as the 1940s.

The church document does not reveal individual names of the accused employees or alleged victims. Two individuals had 15 complaints each.

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