Feds Sorting Through Evidence in Pennsylvania Clergy Abuse Investigation
Last week, the federal government began a clergy abuse investigation in Pennsylvania after a grand jury report issued in August named over 300 priests as potential child predators. The feds subpoenaed secret and confidential records from the Catholic church to determine whether those clergy members committed federal crimes. They sought evidence for five distinct offenses that may have been committed by the priests in question including:
- Clergy members sending sexual images or messages to children.
- Clergy members transporting children across state lines with illicit intent.
- Clergy members discouraging children, victims, or any other witnesses from communicating with police officers regarding the incidents.
- Clergy members using money or other financial assets to fund the illicit actions.
- The reassignment of clergy members suspected of child predation to other parishes.
Unfortunately, evidence uncovered by the state Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s clergy abuse investigation showed several instances of the aforementioned offenses wrought by priests named in the report, which means that the federal government will find significant proof in their investigation of criminal activity.
Plentiful evidence of clergy members engaging in the sexual abuse of children may influence the decision of lawmakers in Pennsylvania to remove the statute of limitations that prevents older survivors from filing lawsuits against those who traumatized them. If this legislation goes through, it will greatly benefit the survivors, many of whom continue to face years of mental trauma because of the abuse they suffered.
At Williams Cedar, our Pennsylvania clergy abuse lawyers fully support the removal of the statute of limitations to enable survivors of clergy abuse to receive the justice they deserve. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, please call us at 215-557-0099 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.