New trial OKd in clergy abuse suit

The L.A. Times: A Fresno judge ordered a new trial Friday in a lawsuit brought by two brothers who accused the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno of failing to protect them from a Wasco priest who sexually abused them decades ago.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Donald S. Black ruled that the case should be tried again because of newly discovered evidence.

A jury found in April that the Fresno diocese could not be held liable for the abuse of George and Howard Santillan, now 59 and 54, because diocese officials did not know about it at the time. Attorneys for the Santillans filed a motion for new trial after the verdict, saying a new victim allegedly abused by the same priest came forward during jury deliberations and said he reported the abuse in 1967 to officials at a church-affiliated school.

— Victoria Kim