Shortly after a judge ruled Thursday that some documents regarding an investigation involving the Archdiocese of Cincinnati go to a grand jury, an appeals court overturned the judge’s decision.
That means documents the Archdiocese turned over and were to be presented to a special Hamilton County grand jury now won’t be at least until more legal arguments about those documents are complete.
Before the Cincinnati-based First District Court of Appeals made its ruling Thursday afternoon, a judge ordered the release of documents from the archdiocese to the grand jury investigating possible crimes committed by priests, the archdiocese and its employees.
The ruling by Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Fred Cartolano was opposed by archdiocese attorneys who argued that revealing information in those documents violates the archdiocese’s attorney-client privilege.
Prosecutor Mike Allen, who previously accused the archdiocese and its attorney of doing all they could to hide evidence and not cooperate with the grand jury investigation, would say only that Cartolano’s ruling speaks for itself.
The archdiocese and prosecutors battled for months over access to archdiocese documentation of allegations of abuse, prompting Cartolano to appoint attorney Glenn Whitaker as special master. The archdiocese turned over to Whitaker all of the documents the prosecutors requested using subpoenas.
Whitaker then went over each document and recommended if it should be turned over to the prosecutor for the criminal investigation. Cartolano adopted that Nov. 19 report and ruled that those documents in Whitaker’s report be handed over to the grand jury.
“Out of the more than 20,000 documents produced,” archdiocese attorneys wrote in a Dec. 12 motion to the judge that was unsealed Thursday, “the prosecuting attorney has yet to identify a single, specific incident in which it suspects a crime was committed, much less provide (Cartolano) with a factual basis to support the suspicion.”
The allegations revealed in the documents Thursday include:
A coach accused of improper conduct with a minor. The coach was tried and acquitted.
A teacher who was observed by police having sexual contact with a minor in public.
A woman who told archdiocese officials in 1993, some 20 years after she said it happened that she was kissed by a priest after she graduated from high school in 1972.
An adult who told the archdiocese he experienced, as a minor, inappropriate contact.
An incident between two Greene County students on a retreat, an incident archdiocese officials note is outside the geographic scope of the Hamilton County subpoena.
Two adults who said in 1990 or 1991 that they were abused decades earlier by a teacher.
An adult who reported in 1993 that he had been abused in the late 1960s by an individual who was dead by the time the allegations were made.