Another sexual abuse scandal is rocking the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles releases files on 126 priests documenting decades of sexual abuse allegations.

The records show church leaders, including the current Cardinal, Roger M. Mahony, sent some accused priests to counseling or reassigned them to other parishes, where some abusers continued to prey on children.

The Archdiocese produced the files as part of settlement talks with lawyers representing 560 people who say they were sexually abused by clergymen.

The lead attorney representing the plaintiffs, Raymond P. Boucher, says many damaging details have been deleted from the released files.

Last year, a California diocese (Orange) settled some 85 cases for 100-million dollars.  But lawyers say the Los Angeles settlement could cost the church at least 500 million dollars.

In 2003, church leaders in Boston agreed to pay about $85 million to settle sexual abuse claims. 

Some information for this report provided by AP