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Newly released file details clergy sex abuse in Santa Barbara

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Photo by Doc Searls via Flickr Creative Commons

Files detailing alleged clergy abuse at Franciscans' St. Anthony Seminary, a former boarding school in Santa Barbara, have been released following a lengthy legal battle.

The documents, posted online at, contain accusations of sexual abuse of children, and an account of a man who describes being molested there as a child and later molesting other childeren, says the L.A. Times.

For decades, the now-shuttered St. Anthony's Seminary was awash in dark secrets. A cache of documents obtained in a lawsuit and posted online Wednesday, including [Robert] Van Handel's so-called sexual autobiography, has begun to shed some light on them.

The documents, containing accounts of 25 alleged victims who say they were abused by nine clergy members, is the largest release of a Roman Catholic religious order's confidential files, according to a plaintiffs' attorney. Van Handel is the only one of them who has been criminally convicted, notes the newspaper.