LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California appeals court has ruled that psychiatric and other confidential records of Franciscan friars accused of sexual abuse should be made public.

The ruling from the 2nd District Court of Appeal issued Thursday is significant for clergy abuse victims who have been fighting for the public disclosure of records that the Roman Catholic church kept of abusive clergy.

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The ruling arose from sexual molestation lawsuits filed against the Franciscan Friars of California Inc. by 25 plaintiffs.

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Those plaintiffs settled for $28 million in 2006.

The settlement also sought the release of the confidential records of six friars, who appealed last year.

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