Crime & Courts

Law firm to release names of 395 Catholic church members accused of sexual misconduct

Chicago attorney Jeff Anderson tells journalists at a news conference in January that his law firm will release the names of priests with whom it has reached settlements regarding sexual abuse accusations.
Chicago attorney Jeff Anderson tells journalists at a news conference in January that his law firm will release the names of priests with whom it has reached settlements regarding sexual abuse accusations.

A Minnesota-based law firm said it will reveal the identities of 395 Catholic clergy members accused of sexual misconduct in Illinois on Wednesday.

The 185-page report will include background information, photos and assignment histories of each clergy member whom law firm Anderson and Associates has previously settled with, according to a news release sent Tuesday afternoon.

The people named in the report worked or continue to work in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield, according to the release.

Further details about the accusations and the people involved were not immediately available, as finishing touches were being added to the report Tuesday afternoon, attorney Marc Pearlman said.

Attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman, of Jeff Anderson and Associates, were expected to publish their report Feb. 11, but the release was delayed because of the law firm’s involvement in a Minnesota trial, according to a news release at the time.

The accused individuals' names are expected to be made public at a news conference at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Marriott Residence Inn Chicago.

None of the settlements was confidential, Anderson said. The attorneys urged each of the Catholic dioceses in the state to publicly identify more than 500 unnamed clergy members whose dark pasts intentionally were kept under wraps by church officials, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.

In January, the Illinois Attorney General's Office released the preliminary findings of her office’s investigation of sexual abuse claims within the Catholic Church. The office claimed to know of more than 500 clergy members accused of sexually abusing minors, although the report did not include the accused persons' names or confirm the dioceses to which they belonged.

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