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All Illinois Catholic dioceses targeted in sex abuse lawsuit

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CHICAGO (AP) – Four people who say they were sexually abused decades ago by five priests in parishes across Illinois are suing every diocese in the state for the abuse itself and what they say is a widespread and ongoing scheme to cover up clergy abuse.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Chicago alleges the abuse by the priests — three of whom are still alive and in the priesthood — took place between the early 1970s and the late 1990s in the dioceses of Rockford, Springfield, and Peoria. But the suit claims the other dioceses have concealed sexual abuse from both the public and law enforcement.

The lawsuit seeking to compel church leaders to turn over the names of every priest accused of sexual abuse comes weeks after a similar one was filed in California.

By DON BABWIN, Associated Press

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