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Bankruptcy judge refuses to unseal church documents in sex abuse case

Bankruptcy judge refuses to unseal church documents in sex abuse case

By the WTMJ News Team. CREATED Feb 29, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 29, 2012

MILWAUKEE- A bankruptcy judge refused to unseal church documents related to the Milwaukee Archdiocese sex abuse scandal.  

Not only did federal judge Susan Kelley disagree, she called Wednesday's hearing a distraction, by people with an agenda.

At a court hearing earlier this month, Peter Isely, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) argued documents in the archdiocese bankruptcy hearing listed at least 100 never before named sex offenders.  He claimed those names are a public safety and child safety concern.

Judge Kelley reviewed every single name listed in the claims spanning more than 50 years -- and could find no public safety concern.

Isely blasted Judge Kelley for not unsealing those documents.

"She's never investigated a sexual abuse crime.  She's probably never encountered sex abusers or pedophiles," said Isely.

Judge Kelley said she now hopes to focus on getting the valid claims paid.  But Isely is not backing down, and is asking the state Attorney General JB Van Hollen to conduct his own investigation into claims of abuse.

"We weren't at her office asking for an investigation.  We were at the attorney general's office asking for an investigation.  And that is what absolutely has to occur," said Isely.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese has not commented on this case.

TODAY'S TMJ4 reports it is unclear whether the attorney general's office plans to look into the case.