Los Angeles

Judge Orders LA Catholic Church to Turn Over Sex Abuse Files

Records may soon become public

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A judge on Monday ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to turn over to the court the top-secret files it has kept for decades on dozens of priests accused of sex abuse, bringing the documents closer to public scrutiny.

The order by Superior Court Judge Emilie Elias came five years after more than 550 alleged victims reached a record-breaking, $660 million settlement with the archdiocese that also called for the public unsealing of the confidential files.

Individual priests have been fighting to keep the records closed, but the California Supreme Court declined to intervene earlier this year after a lower court decision in a related case cleared the way for the release of the documents.