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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 20:38 GMT 21:38 UK
Mexican priest abuse case dropped
Priest holding hosts
The US Catholic Church has been shaken by a series of abuse claims
A judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit against a Mexican cardinal accused of conspiring to move a known child abuser to the US Catholic church.

The judge said there was not enough evidence to try Cardinal Norberto Rivera in a US court, the plaintiff's lawyer told the Associated Press.

The plaintiff alleged that Mr Rivera sent the priest to the Los Angeles diocese knowing he had abused children.

Cardinal Rivera said he was unaware of claims against the priest.

The priest fled to Mexico less than a year after he arrived in Los Angeles, having been accused of sexual abuse in the Californian city.

He was subsequently charged in California with 19 offences of committing a lewd act on a child.

'Complicity'

A spokesman for Cardinal Rivera in Mexico City told the Associated Press news agency that the cardinal welcomed the Los Angeles judge's "careful, fair decision".

"We are happy and satisfied that the judge confirmed what we have always said: this isn't a case to be judged in the United States," he said.

A lawyer for the plaintiff said the judge had dismissed the case on a "legal technicality".

He said his client, aged 26, intended to pursue a lawsuit in Mexico's courts.

The priest's current whereabouts are unknown.

The US Roman Catholic Church has been shaken by a series of abuse claims.

In July, the diocese of Los Angeles agreed a record $660m deal to settle 508 abuse cases, some going back to the 1940s.

And last month, the diocese of San Diego, also in California, agreed to pay $198m (97m) to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy.



SEE ALSO
US Church agrees sex abuse payout
07 Sep 07 |  Americas
Timeline: US Church sex scandal
07 Feb 05 |  Americas
LA cardinal offers abuse apology
16 Jul 07 |  Americas
LA diocese settles abuse claims
01 Dec 06 |  Americas
Abuse must be addressed says Pope
28 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
US archdiocese loses claims fight
31 Dec 05 |  Americas

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