Victim group seeks independent review of clergy abuse claims
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A group of clergy sexual abuse victims has called for an independent commission to investigate molestation accusations it says are sealed in a bankruptcy case involving the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
The move comes a day after church lawyers formalized a $21 million settlement between nearly 400 abuse victims and the archdiocese.
It advances a position the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has held for years that church officials shouldn't be first to review clergy abuse reports.
Church officials have firmly maintained that abuse claims have been properly and transparently investigated and that they've worked ensure children's safety.
The settlement indicates those steps include annual audits. It also says every report of clerical sexual abuse of a minor, provided the accused is alive, is handed to prosecutors.