Victims agree with Judge Kelley’s ruling: bankruptcy court no place for sex crimes investigation
Some of Kelley’s comments, however, demonstrate exactly why the Attorney General—not the archdiocese–must conduct full investigation
Court does not dispute figures that at least 8,000 criminal acts are alleged in filings, with at least 100 unidentified offenders
Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director
Judge Susan V. Kelley denied a motion today in Federal Bankruptcy Court filed on behalf of archbishop Jerome Listecki, which would have allowed the archdiocese to submit to the Attorney General of Wisconsin a “statistical analysis” of the thousands of child sex crimes found within claims submitted to the court by victims of child rape and sexual assault. Judge Kelley emphasized that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding is intended to provide the debtor, the archdiocese of Milwaukee, the opportunity to file a plan of reorganization, not a venue for the investigation of criminal child sex crimes.
In courtroom comments, however, Judge Kelley remarked several times that based upon the claims she has reviewed there was not, in her opinion as a bankruptcy judge, a current “public safety crisis”.
Kelley did not dispute that the claims include at least 8,000 acts of alleged criminal sexual acts against children and, even more significantly, that there are at least 100 alleged offenders who are not named on the archdiocese “official” list of 43 abusive priests. Even Listecki, in his blog this week, concedes that “some new names of diocesan priests did surface in the claims process”.
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