Morganelli seeks release of diocesan sex abuse report from grand jury

The Morning Call

July 9, 2018

By Tim Darragh

[Includes a video of DA Morganelli’s statement.]

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli is calling on the state District Attorney’s Association to petition for the release of a two-year state grand jury investigation into sexual abuse by priests and others in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, including Allentown.

The Supreme Court on June 20 blocked the report’s release, which was expected at the end of June.

The court’s order came after about two dozen unnamed people, including current and former clergy, challenged the release, arguing that naming people who have not been charged with crimes would damage their reputations in violation of the state constitution. The challenge also questioned whether the report adheres to the grand jury law.

In a news conference Monday, Morganelli said those filings put the grand jury process under assault and if they’re successful, would wipe out the grand jury as a corruption-fighting tool.

“The petitioners’ demands in these cases would essentially eradicate the grand jury report as an instrument of accountability for public and private institutions,” Morganelli said.

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