MILWAUKEE -- Adults sexually abused by priests as children can sue the Roman Catholic Church for fraud, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
The court ruled unanimously that the church practice of placing known abusers in new parishes without notifying congregation members is grounds for lawsuits based on fraud, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
The decision also extends the deadline for the fraud lawsuits to 2010, although fraud cases ordinarily have a six-year statute of limitations.
The justices, however, ruled out abuse lawsuits based on negligence.
Victims' groups said the decision will help people abused as children get the information and redress they deserve, the Journal Sentinel said.
A spokeswoman for the Milwaukee archdiocese said the church is committed to protecting minors and said it will abide by the court's decision.
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