Pa Attorney General Credits Man for Speaking up for Child Sex Abuse Victims
By Sara Small
March 15, 2016
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is crediting one man for speaking up for victims of child sexual abuse by priests.
Kane thanked George Foster Tuesday morning during a press conference where she announced the filing of criminal charges against three Franciscan Friars for their role in the Brother Stephen Baker case.
Kane says the brothers made it possible for Baker to sexually abuse hundreds of children. It was the investigation of Baker's actions at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown that led to the grand jury report detailing decades of abuse within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
The Attorney General spoke about Foster's actions to root out child sex abuse within the Diocese.
Foster is well known to the press in the Johnstown area for researching and investigating child sex abuse by priests. He started being a victim's advocate and did something Kane says should be seen as an example; he spoke up and gave the victims a voice.
"Mr. Foster, thank you again. Thank you for bringing your son with you and being an example for him," Kane said Tuesday while the room filled with applause at the University of Pitt-Johnstown during the news conference.
"I got involved because I've commented in the press time and time again and I wrote an article very simply stating these people should be removed," Foster says. "They shouldn't be allowed in the priesthood anymore."
He says victims began coming forward telling their stories of abuse. So many stories in fact, Foster continued his push to make sure leaders of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese knew about it.
"I put these stories together and took them to Bishop Adamec at the time and said something needed to be done," Foster recalls. "What we did this year was uncover the conspiracy that went on."
Kane says Foster's relentless push to uncover child sex abuse within the church adds to the old saying, "If you see something, say something."
"We want Mr. Foster to be an example to the public that we can do something about child sexual abuse," says Kane. "Let people know what you've seen and let's not tolerate sexual abuse, whether it's institutional or otherwise, ever again."
Foster adds while these new charges is a step in the right direction, there's still work to be done.
"I don't think we're done with this," says Foster. "But you can't be done with this until all the victims come out and say, 'Me too.'"
Attorney General Kane is encouraging people to continue calling their local legislators and push them to vote to end the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases in Pennsylvania.