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Records May Go Public

Dec 2, 2002 | Cincinnati Post

Documents sealed in the Hamilton County prosecutor's investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati might become public as early as today.

Common Pleas Judge Fred Cartolano on Tuesday ordered the documents to be unsealed and made available for public viewing. After ordering the documents to be unsealed, Cartolano departed for California where he spent the Thanksgiving holiday.

Clerk of Courts Jim Cissell has not talked to Cartolano since he left town and has refused to release any of the documents. The clerk of courts said Sunday the judge's order to unseal them wasn't clear and that he does not want to release any documents until he confers with the judge after he returns home, perhaps as early as today.

Cartolano originally ordered the documents sealed on June 20. His Tuesday order largely rescinds his prior ruling, except for documents reviewed by a grand jury impaneled in July to hear the case.

These documents contain information that the grand jury subpoenaed or which would identify witnesses who testified before the panel. Grand jury proceedings, under Ohio law, are secret.

The judge's ruling to unseal documents doesn't apply to archdiocese records on specific priests, said Dan Andriacco, a spokesman for the archdiocese. It refers to documents filed by attorneys for the archdiocese and by the county prosecutor's office as part of written arguments over which records the grand jury should hear and which should remain confidential under attorney-client privilege, Andriacco said.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk revealed in March that as many as five employees, including a priest, accused of sexually exploiting children in the past were still working for the archdiocese.

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