Dozens more California priests accused of child sex abuse
According to two reports, dozens more Catholic priests who served in Southern California have been accused of sexually abusing children.
Advocates for survivors of child sex abuse compiled a list of 72 priests they say served in the Diocese of Orange and have been accused of abuse. That's many more than the 14 such clerics listed by the diocese in 2016.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles had updated its tally of accused priests for the first time in a decade, adding 54 more for a total of 323 clerics accused in such incidents.
The moves come as advocates demand more transparency and push to hold church officials accountable for child sex abuse cases in counties in California and elsewhere — even when the incidents are too old to bring criminal charges or to sue.
Jeff Anderson & Associates attorney Mikc Reck says the law firm compiled its list using publicly available information including criminal cases, lawsuits and press statements. He said the firm doesn't know the whereabouts of nearly half of these priests, who may or may not still be alive.
The Diocese of Orange said in a statement that the firm was trying to re-litigate old claims and the church takes any accusations of abuse "extraordinarily seriously." The diocese issued a report in 2016 saying 14 clergy accused of abuse were removed from ministry.