Sex-Case Court Orders Friars' Psych Files Bared
Records expected to reveal how much Catholic chiefs knew about abuse
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2010 1:44 AM CDT
A lawyer for the friars said he believed the court was focusing on victims' "desire for retribution."   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – A California court has ruled that the psychiatric and personnel files of six Franciscan friars accused of sexual abuse must be made public. The documents are expected to reveal how much the Catholic Franciscan administration knew about their employees' behavior and when they knew it. The decision could lead to the release of confidential files on dozens of priests and other religious figures accused of sexual abuse, AP reports.

"All citizens have a compelling interest in knowing if a prominent and powerful institution has cloaked in secrecy decades of sexual abuse revealed in the psychiatric records of counselors who continued to have intimate contact with vulnerable children while receiving treatment for their tendencies toward child molestation," the court wrote.