Lawsuit: Catholic church suppressed abuse reports in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — A new lawsuit accuses Catholic church officials of suppressing reports of abuse by a priest in northwest Georgia and failing to inform the community of the danger he posed.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday by a man identified under a pseudonym, Phillip Doe. It says Doe was sexually molested by priest John Douglas Edwards in the 1970s when Doe was an altar boy at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dalton.

The lawsuit says the failure by the Archdiocese of Atlanta to report the alleged sexual abuse is a public nuisance because it endangered the public.

The lawsuit was filed against the archdiocese, Saint Joseph’s and Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who has presided over the archdiocese since 2005.

A representative for the archdiocese did not respond to an email seeking comment Thursday.

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