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Attorney General Bill Lockyer to Review San Diego Priest Sexual Abuse Cases

Thursday, March 13, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SAN DIEGO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that his office will review for possible prosecution several San Diego County cases alleging sexual abuse by clerics in the Roman Catholic diocese. The Attorney General agreed to accept the cases at the request of San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

"Sexual assaults by priests are among the worst crimes because they are not only violent, they also involve a violation of the victim's trust," Lockyer said. "My office will do a thorough and fair review of the alleged sexual abuse incidents by a number of priests in San Diego County and do everything possible to provide justice."

The San Diego District Attorney's Office referred three separate cases to the Attorney General for prosecutorial review. Before deciding whether to prosecute, the Attorney General's office will review the cases over the next several weeks and consult with prosecutors and investigators in the District Attorney's Office, as well as local law enforcement agencies that investigated the cases.

In addition to the three cases referred by District Attorney Dumanis, numerous other Diocese-related sexual assault investigations are currently being conducted by local law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego County. The Attorney General's office also will be responsible for making prosecutorial decisions on any cases referred to his office by local investigating agencies.

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