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Judge hears arguments in diocese sexual abuse lawsuits

By Todd Ruger in

The attorney for men alleging sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport more than 20 years ago demanded that church leaders turn over priest personnel files and other records Friday as trial dates for their lawsuits loom four months away.

The diocese holdup is preventing the men from preparing for trials and expanding the required pre-trial work by attorneys, attorney Craig Levien told District Court Judge C.H. Pelton on Friday.

“When do these men who have been injured get to see this information,” Levien said, calling for sanctions against the diocese for a 14-month delay. “Perhaps we’ve been too patient.”

Pelton, who cited the separation of church and state in being “very reluctant” to sanction the diocese, will rule at a later date on Levien’s motion to force the diocese to turn over the documents.

Diocese attorney Rand Wonio told the judge he was “disappointed” at Levien’s request for sanctions, since both attorneys agreed to instead focus on insurance report letters needed to help in mediations of the cases outside of the courtroom.

More details on this story can be found in Saturday's editions of the QUAD-CITY TIMES.


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