SNAP Asks Ohio AG to Do Grand Jury Investigations into All Ohio Dioceses
By Michelle Nicks
October 9, 2018
The organization SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is holding news conferences statewide to get the attention of the Ohio Attorney General.
The group is asking Mike DeWine to launch investigations into clergy sex crimes and coverups just like Pennsylvania and now Michigan.
Standing in front of the Youngstown satellite office for the Ohio Attorney General, members of SNAP called on DeWine to take action.
Judy Jones with the SNAP Network out of St. Louis said, "We are asking Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to do a grand jury investigation into every Diocese in Ohio (and there are six). In August the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, released a grand jury report that was very scathing and it showed that Bishops and church officials covered up and enabled child sex crimes."
A spokesperson with AG's office in Columbus confirms that Ohio does not have a statewide grand jury mechanism or the authority to do that unless they're contacted by a prosecutor.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains tells 21 News, "We have to look at crimes when it comes to a grand jury, not the behavior of a Diocese or a group. We still need victims to come forward so we can investigate."
"Victims are coming forward and speaking up more and more all the time. And so they are being caught, just like what happened in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Diocese have been caught and this needs to happen everywhere, and it's gotta stop," Jones said.
Monsignor John Zuraw, speaking for the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, said Bishop George Murry will cooperate fully with any civil authorities and with transparency and honesty. He has also agreed to release the names of any priests or church workers with credible allegations against them by November 4th. The names of alleged predators now deceased will also be released, and the Diocese website updated each time a credible allegation is made.