PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Thousands of pages of documents from a lawsuit against a Catholic order have been unsealed, making public new details surrounding alleged sexual misconduct by its founder.
Eyewitness News obtained the legal documents and sat down with attorney Bernard Jackvony, who has been compiling evidence against the Legion of Christ for years to support a $60 million lawsuit filed by the family of a local woman who gave $60 million to the group and wants that money returned.
Gabrielle Mee bequeathed $60 million to the Legion of Christ a few years before her death in 2008, and her family is suing the Legion, arguing that its efforts to cover up that alleged sexual misconduct amounted to fraud.
The order's founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, was discovered to have fathered three children with two women and allegedly sexually molested seminarians. The newly-unsealed documents indicate that the order's second-in-command knew of the alleged misconduct but did not either report it or confront Maciel. The Legion finally acknowledged those allegations in 2009, a year after Maciel's death, and the Vatican took over the order in 2010 after an investigation substantiated those reports.
Jackvony says that the documents, which include thousands of pages of testimony from Legion leadership, show that its leaders covered up Maciel's misconduct and therefore the order defrauded her out of the money she bequeathed.
A federal judge ruled that Mee's niece did not have standing to sue - a ruling that Jackvony is appealing, which could take up to a year.