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Records say church knew of priest's abuse

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Court documents allege the Archdiocese of Indianapolis reassigned a known child-molesting priest to new parishes where he preyed on other children.

At least two archbishops allegedly knew the Rev. Harry Monroe had molested children and had ordered psychiatric treatment for him in 1976 and 1981, reported The Indianapolis Star, which obtained the documents through a court petition.

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The documents allege the diocese was concerned about Monroe, who left the priesthood in the 1980s, as far back as 1969 when he was in seminary but let him continue as a parish priest until the early 80s while never reporting the accusations of abuse to police, the Star reported.

Jay Mercer, an attorney for the archdiocese, told the Star the church returned Monroe to ministry only after psychiatric experts said he posed no further threat to children.

Since 2005, 13 accusers have sued Monroe and the archdiocese, alleging he sexually abused them on camping trips, in motel rooms and in parish rectories while serving as a priest in Indiana.

Monroe has never been prosecuted and was unavailable for comment, the Star reported, noting his last known residence was in Nashville in 2006.

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