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AP, New York Times seek release of sealed documents in Legion of Christ lawsuit

News organizations including The Associated Press are asking a Rhode Island judge to unseal documents from a lawsuit contesting the will of a woman who left $60 million to the Legion of Christ, a disgraced Roman Catholic religious order.

The New York Times, The Providence Journal, the National Catholic Reporter and the AP filed papers Tuesday arguing the public has a right to the documents despite the Legion's claim that they could taint prospective jurors.

The Vatican took over the Legion in 2010 after determining that its founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, molested seminarians and fathered three children.

Gabrielle Mee left her fortune to the Legion, but her niece challenged the will, saying the Legion defrauded her aunt. A judge dismissed the challenge after determining that the niece lacked standing. Her attorney plans to appeal.

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