Kathleen Klaus: "It's absolutely, completely irrational to me that an entity like the archdiocese would not comply with the court order unless it was hiding something."
The archdiocese of Detroit is doubling down, once again refusing to hand over files that could exonerate a Detroit priest.
Friday morning, In the courtroom of Judge Dana Hathaway in downtown Detroit, attorneys for Fr. Eduard Perrone argued their case, insisting that the archdiocese be compelled to hand over its investigative files on the priest.
Klaus: "They argued again that this is all under ecclesiastic privilege, and we said no, it's witness statements, it's data; we don't want your analysis, we want the data, the raw witness statements — and you ordered them to be produced."
Critics have blasted the archdiocese for its handling of Fr. Perrone’s case, who was suspended on July 5 over a single allegation of abuse arising from a so-called repressed memory, his attorneys suspecting the archdiocese has files that could exonerate him.
After a 10-minute court hearing, Judge Hathaway sided with Perrone’s attorneys.
Judge Dana Hathaway: "The new subpoena has to be complied with by Nov. 27."
Thomas Van Dusen: "We're not required to respond to that until Dec. 3."
Hathaway: "I know. And I just changed the date to Nov. 27."
Archdiocesan attorney Thomas Van Dusen made clear they’d fight the order.
Van Dusen: "So that it's clear, we do not intend to produce these records on the 27th."
Kathleen Klaus, attorney for Fr. Perrone, believes the archdiocese is hiding something.
Klaus: "There is exonerating information in these files and they don't want that to get out."
The attorney for the defendant, Kyle Bristow, agrees.
Bristow: "It's truly a battle of David & Goliath and the little guys are going to get their records."
One thing's certain: The archdiocese of Detroit is dead set on making sure no one has access to those files.