- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A judge has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to allow attorneys for an alleged clergy abuse victim to depose Archbishop John Nienstedt and former Vicar General Kevin McDonough.

Ramsey County Judge John Van de North issued an order Tuesday requiring the depositions take place within 30 days. Van de North also ordered the archdiocese to create a list by Feb. 18 of all priests accused of sexually abusing minors since 2004.

The judge also said the plaintiff’s attorneys could begin reviewing internal church documents related to clergy abuse, the Star Tribune reported (https://strib.mn/1j0bcVA ).

The ruling is a “giant move forward,” said attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing the man who filed the lawsuit in May alleging he was sexually abused by priest nearly 40 years ago.

“Today a door has been opened, light can shine in,” Anderson said.

The lawsuit was the first to be filed since a change in state law allowed lawsuits to be filed in old child sex abuse cases. Such suits had previously been barred by a statute of limitations.

The suit asked for permission to take depositions from Nienstedt and McDonough, who was the archdiocese’s point person on sex offenses for years.

It also sought to have the names of all priests credibly accused of child abuse since 2004 to be released to the public. The archdiocese made such a list in December.

The archdiocese has argued that church records and depositions were not relevant to the case.

In a statement, the archdiocese said it looked forward to working with the court. But it added, “At the same time, we strongly assert our pursuit of justice for any who are falsely accused.”

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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