Judge delays decision in church sex abuse case
A federal judge today held off on finalizing a decision to send dozensof child sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese ofSan Diego back to state court for trials.
Recognizing that significant progress had been made in recentsettlement talks, Judge Louise DeCarl Adler said she would delay herdecision until Monday.
In a tentative ruling, she had granted the request from abuse-victims' attorneys to send 42 of 127 lawsuits back for trial.
But in a stern rebuke, Adler said the diocese was “forumshopping” and that its offer was “significantly less” than thestatewide average for such cases.
The diocese has offered an average of about $600,000 per case,roughly half of what more than 900 clergy abuse cases have settled foron average in California.
In what could be an explosive hearing this afternoon, attorneysfor both the diocese and abuse victims will question R. Todd Neilson,whose report on diocese finances was highly critical of the handling ofsome parish funds.
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.Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia