ST. LOUIS (AP) — A civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and a former Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct has been settled, sparing the church from possible public disclosure of details on hundreds of abuse complaints against its employees over decades.
The diocese announced the confidential settlement on Monday morning just as jury selection in the civil trial was set to begin. A 22-year-old woman identified only as Jane Doe had accused Joseph Ross of molesting her as a small girl between 1997 and 2001. Ross had previously pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an 11- year-old boy in 1988 but was allowed to return to another parish.
The woman's lawyers hope to introduce evidence from other abuse complaints after the archdiocese was ordered to turn over records in those cases.