PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eight new civil lawsuits allege the Archdiocese of Philadelphia covered up child sex assault allegations made against seven Roman Catholic priests.
The lawsuits are being filed Tuesday by a total of nine plaintiffs. Their attorneys plan to release more details Tuesday afternoon.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say their clients decided to come forward when former archdiocesan official Monsignor William Lynn was convicted of child endangerment and received a three- to six-year prison sentence.
The 61-year-old Lynn is the first U.S. church official convicted of endangering children by keeping predator priests in ministry. He served as secretary for clergy at the Philadelphia Archdiocese from 1992 to 2004.
Named in the latest lawsuits are Lynn, Archbishop Charles Chaput (SHAP'-yoo), Cardinal Justin Rigali and the priests accused by the plaintiffs of sexual abuse.