New Orleans: Motion to Keep Documents Secret Raises Concerns with Church Sex Abuse Victims

Every time Morris Daniels talks about the abuse he says received at the hands of defrocked deacon George Brignac, it’s clearly a painful experience.

“When you’re a victim of this, it never goes away it doesn’t fizzle away,” Daniels said.

Daniels settled with the church in March regarding the abuse at Holy Rosary in the 1980s. Part of the agreement meant keeping the settlement amount secret. But Daniels said he explicitly refused to sign a gag order.

“I told them from the beginning to have my real face, my real name, my real story. I’m not John Doe, I’m Morris Daniels and I’m a victim of Deacon Brignac,” he said.

And that’s why Daniels said a new motion filed in connection to a different case infuriates him so much.

The victim — known only as John Doe — is suing the Catholic Church and defrocked deacon George Brignac. His attorneys want to have all documents from the Archdiocese relating to settlements, compromises and/or payments of abuse claims dating back to 2002.

However, attorneys with the church claim that those documents contain confidential, private information related both to Brignac and other third parties. Now, church attorneys have filed a motion granting them the right to keep those documents secret.

Legal analyst Bobby Hjortsberg said while this is a standard legal proceeding, it doesn’t look good.

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