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DA: Church abuse prosecution is unlikely

June 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles County prosecutors say they haven't found enough evidence to charge the leaders of the city's Roman Catholic Archdiocese for their handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal.A District Attorney's office memo revealed today that prosecution is difficult because of the amount of time that has passed.

Investigators have spent the last eight years looking into possible wrong doing by Cardinal Roger Mahony and other top church officials.

Although the passage of time has made the investigation difficult, it is still active.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or "SNAP" say they are relieved the District Attorney hasn't closed the investigation.

"We're hopeful that there will be a churchgoer, a whistle blower, there'll be someone who had seen something at some of these parishes that will come out and speak. This is a call to action right now," said Esther Hatfield Miller, the director of the Orange County Branch of SNAP.

An Archdiocese spokesman says mistakes were made by Mahony and the church leadership but they say any suggestion of criminal wrongdoing is false.

A federal grand jury is also investigating the Archdiocese's handling of the scandal. It has subpoenaed a former Los Angeles priest convicted of child molestation and a monsignor who worked with the clergy under Mahony.

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