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Judge sets Feb. 17 deadline for documents in alleged clergy abuse case


ST. PAUL, Minnesota — A judge has given the Dioceses of New Ulm and Duluth until Feb.17 to turn over documents pertaining to alleged clergy sex abuse dating back to 1949.

Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann issued the order after hearing arguments in the case of a man who has accused the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald of sexually abusing him when he was boy in 1976.

Diocese of Duluth attorney Susan Gaertner says the plaintiffs earlier asked for a bigger volume of documents in what she called a "fishing expedition." Minnesota Public Radio says this order pertains to documents from the time Fitzgerald was ordained in 1949 to 1978, a period when the alleged abuse took place. He died in 2009.

Guthmann gave the Oblates of Mary Immaculate a March 27 deadline to comply.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,

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