Lawyer: 200 Sex Abuse Priests Hiding in California
Church needs to alert communities, says Ray Boucher
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2012 2:50 AM CST
Attorney Ray Boucher says church settlements have allowed pedophile priests to disappear into communities without neighbors knowing of their pasts.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – A stunning 200 priests suspected of committing sexual abuse are living in California, mostly unknown to communities, according to a lawyer who sued the LA Archdiocese on behalf of 500 plaintiffs, reports MSNBC. Because none of those priests was convicted of sex abuse, laws about identifying pedophiles and their locations don't apply to them. “Many, if not all, of these priests have admitted to sexual abuse,” Ray Boucher said. “They live within a mile of 1,500 playgrounds, schools, and daycare centers.”

The LA Archdiocese settled with 500 plaintiffs in 2007 for $660 million, but admitted no wrongdoing. Boucher claims the church has simply allowed many of the priests to retire or hide out until statute of limitations run out on their crimes. “By enabling these priests to be hidden for so many years, the church protected them from being prosecuted," said Boucher. A lawyer for the church said the priests have a right to privacy because they haven't been convicted of crimes. But the courts recently ruled against the church, and a judge has ordered the release of some personnel files in the coming weeks.

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Feb 22, 2012 2:35 PM CST
Not to diminish the high crimes of the RCC but please examine the Jehovah's Witnesses who go door to door and come on our property. Jehovah's Witnesses pedophiles. Many court documents and news events prove that Jehovah's Witnesses require two witnesses when a child comes forward with allegations of molestation within the congregation. Such allegations have customarily been treated as sins instead of crimes and are only reported to authorities when it is required to do so by law, (which varies by state). It has also been shown that child molesters within the organization usually have not been identified to the congregation members or the public at large. These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles. The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already. -- ''tell the truth don't be afraid"Danny Haszard
Feb 13, 2012 9:19 AM CST
Catholic Church, So this is where you employ the separation of church and certainly have a lot to say in regard to politics...sticking you big nose in...but in regards to your pedophiles.. well, they're catholic so they get a pass...shame on you...some day you won't be able to thrive in a progressive country and you will be relegated to 3rd world developing countries.
Feb 13, 2012 9:05 AM CST
Newt, Santorum, admit that the catholics are CULTS. You do not believe in condoms, or any form of birth control, but your Church hide Priests that have raped small boys. What a screw-up religion. God help us.