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Archdiocese disposed of accused priest's child porn tapes, lawyer says

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St. Paul church officials may have destroyed evidence that one of its priests had child pornography, an attorney for clergy abuse victims said.

Documents released Thursday by lawyers who work with clergy abuse litigator Jeff Anderson detail what they describe as a coverup by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis after two employees at St. Mary's Church in St. Paul found what they believed to be child pornography videotapes in Rev. Donald Dummer's living quarters in 1997, the Star Tribune says.

According to those released documents, instead of turning over the tapes to law enforcement, they were disposed of – and the people who knew the tapes existed reached as high as the apostolic nuncio in Washington, D.C. and the Vatican's ambassador to the United States, the Pioneer Press reports.

Dummer was among those recently added to a list of priests with credible accusations of sexual misconduct following a landmark settlement between the archdiocese and abuse victims in October. Thursday's release of documents was also part of the settlement.

Dummer continued working in the archdiocese until 2006 as a chaplain at Regions Hospital. He now lives in an oblates residence in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, according to the archdiocese. He's believed to still be working as a priest, attorney Mike Finnegan said.

The documents were turned over to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office, which is expected to investigate church officials for possible obstruction of justice, reports say.

To see all of the released documents, click here.

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