WVa high court deals setback in state’s Catholic church suit

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s high court says the state attorney general cannot use a consumer protection law to sue a Roman Catholic diocese over sexual abuse allegations.

Monday’s opinion was issued in response to a lawsuit the state filed last year accusing the Wheeling-Charleston diocese of failing to publicly disclose the employment of sexual abusers in its schools and camps.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey argued that the absence of such disclosure amounted to a violation of a consumer protection law.

The high court said in its majority opinion that the law does not apply to services provided by a religious institution.

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