Milwaukee Archdiocese wants 500+ abuse claims thrown out

MILWAUKEE -- More than 550 reports of child sex crimes have been filed against the Milwaukee Archdiocese since early 2011. But now, the Archdiocese wants roughly 520 of those claims thrown out.

"While we were bound under the bankruptcy rules to cast a wide net for potential claimants, it is the court that determines which individual claims are eligible for financial compensation," said Julie Wolf, Archdiocese spokesperson.

The Archdiocese is not arguing against the validity of the reports themselves. They church contends claims beyond the statute of limitations or which have already received settlements should not be considered.

Officials also believe alleged abuse at the hands of priests or church officials not actually employed by the diocese itself should be dismissed.

On the flipside, SNAP (Survivors Networks of those Abused by Priests) organizers believe the number of crimes by clergy is much higher than the 550 reported.

"The actual number of crimes, felony crimes that are reported in this 550 claims are going to go into the thousands," said Peter Isely of SNAP Tuesday.

If the Archdiocese is successful in its arguments, it will avoid potentially millions of dollars in restitution. It will also bring an end to any hope of a legal resolution for alleged abuse survivors.

"The vast majority of victim survivors are going to receive no restitution. There's going to be no accountability coming out of this process whatsoever," said Isely

Attorneys for the Archdiocese are expected to make their arguments in bankruptcy court on Thursday, February 9th.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.