Over the last decade, there have been numerous calls to prosecute Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and his top aides for their mishandling of clergy sex abuse. At least three grand juries, two district attorneys and a U.S. attorney have subpoenaed documents and summoned witnesses. None of those cases resulted in charges against the archdiocese's hierarchy.
The release this week of a trove of internal church records showing a concerted effort to hide abuse from police triggered new demands from victims and church critics that Mahony and his advisors be held criminally accountable.
The Los Angeles County district attorney pledged to review all the files and evaluate them for criminal conduct, but legal experts consulted Tuesday said the reams of new documents were unlikely to lead to charges, let alone convictions.
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