New Records Detail Items Seized from Dallas Catholic Diocese

Diocese spokesperson says goal is justice

New court records detail the records seized about alleged sexual misconduct in raids earlier this month at three Dallas Catholic Diocese locations.

The May 15 raids at the Diocese headquarters at 3725 Blackburn Street, St. Cecelia Church in Oak Cliff and a storage locker on Ledbetter Drive in Southern Dallas were authorized in a search warrant affidavit from Dallas Police Detective David Clark, signed by Judge Brandon Birmingham.

The new evidence inventory includes electronic and paper records, financial, insurance and lawsuit information. Documents concerning deceased Bishops Thomas Tschoepe and Charles Grahmann are mentioned.

The search warrant affidavit said police were seeking records concerning accusations about five former priests including Edmundo Paredes who served at St. Cecelia, but is believed to have left the country.

Attorney Sergio Aleman who has sued the Diocese on behalf of alleged victims of Paredes said some of the seized evidence concerns his case and he could not comment on specific details of the evidence.

In general, Aleman said the inventory indicates a thorough criminal investigation is underway.

"I think it is a pretty detailed information," Aleman said.

But based on his own effort to inquire about priests, the long list of seized records does not mean it will be easy for police to build criminal cases.

"Even though you get information, there might not be anything contained in writing in these files," Aleman said. "And that is something you will run across in these cases. Nothing is put in writing."

An alleged victim of abuse by a priest named "Paul" requested that his last name and face be concealed. Paul saw the records Wednesday and said he is impressed with the Dallas police investigation.

"But the transparency had to come from the Dallas Police Department. It did not come from the church. And we’ve been asking for this for a long time," he said.

Paul agreed it may be difficult to build criminal cases because several accusations date back many years.

"My abuse occurred when I was around 11 and I didn't come forward until I was 38. So, that's a pretty typical scenario," he said.

Dallas Catholic Bishop Edward Burns said earlier this month that the church was cooperating with police and the raids were unnecessary.

Wednesday, Diocese spokesperson Annette Gonzalez-Taylor sent a statement:

"Our goal is to continue to cooperate with police to bring about justice."


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