Details of Some Criminal Investigations into Sexual Misconduct by Roman Catholic Clergy
July 24, 2003
A list of some key criminal investigations since January 2002 into how U.S. Roman Catholic officials handled sexual misconduct allegations in the church:
Arizona: To avoid indictment by a grand jury, Bishop Thomas O'Brien of Phoenix admitted he sheltered abusive priests and agreed to surrender some of his authority to a top staff person in the diocese. Seven current and former priests were indicted on molestation charges. O'Brien has since resigned after being charged in a fatal hit-and-run accident.
California: A grand jury impaneled by District Attorney Steve Cooley issued subpoenas ordering the Los Angeles Archdiocese to turn over personnel records on accused priests. The archdiocese is resisting.
Massachusetts: Attorney General Thomas Reilly convened a grand jury to investigate the Archdiocese of Boston but no criminal charges were filed. Reilly issued a report Wednesday blaming Cardinal Bernard Law, his predecessors as archbishop and Law's assistants for sheltering abusive priests who molested as many as 1,000 people.
New Hampshire: Manchester Bishop John McCormack avoided criminal indictment of the diocese by publicly acknowledging it would have been convicted of failing to protect children from offenders if prosecutors had gone to court.
New York: Grand juries in Suffolk and Westchester counties returned no indictments, but issued reports alleging the New York Archdiocese and the Diocese of Rockville Centre sheltered abusive priests.
Ohio: An investigation by Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Prosecutor William Mason led to charges against a retired priest and six former employees of a church-run home for troubled youth. Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen has been fighting the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for months over which documents the archdiocese will release. One priest and one ex-priest have been indicted so far.
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham convened a grand jury to investigate sex abuse claims and possible church cover-ups. A report is due by year's end.
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