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Pittsburgh Diocese Hit With Lawsuits Over Child Sexual Abuse

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Marc Levy
/
AP
Survivors of child sexual abuse hug in the Pennsylvania Capitol while awaiting legislation to respond to a landmark state grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Harrisburg, Pa.

Fourteen people who say they were sexually victimized as children by Roman Catholic priests decades ago are filing new lawsuits against the Pittsburgh Diocese.

Among the priests accused in the 12 lawsuits, filed Thursday, are several who weren't identified in a state grand jury report released in August that named some 300 "predator priests."

The accusers' lawyer, Alan Perer, says they are seeking monetary damages and an acknowledgement from the diocese that it bears substantial responsibility for what happened to the accusers as children. Perer says diocese officials knew about instances of abuse, but didn't report them. The diocese isn't commenting.

Perer says the plaintiffs are challenging time limits in state law barring lawsuits. He says it's not fair to prevent his clients from suing when crucial evidence was hidden.