September 25, 2018
By Lindsay Lazarski
On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will weigh arguments over redactions in the explosive grand jury report that exposed alleged widespread child sexual abuse and cover up in six of the state’s eight Roman Catholic Dioceses.
About a dozen clergy members — whose names have been redacted from the report — are fighting to protect their identities and reputations, claiming their due process rights have been violated. They argue the court should adopt the redacted version as the final draft.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro disagrees with that conclusion. He claims the court can reconcile both the privacy rights of clergy members and the public’s interest in the investigation.
One option, Shapiro suggests, is for the court to recall the grand jury or to bring the investigation before a new grand jury to resolve objections. In addition, he says the anonymous clergy members should have the opportunity to testify before the grand jury, and that investigators should be able to bring in new evidence.
The nearly 900-page report documents the stories of more than 1,000 children who have been allegedly abused at the hands of more than 300 “predator priests.”
Since the report was released last month, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has received more than 1,100 calls to it’s clergy sex abuse hotline and several other state’s attorneys general have initiated their own investigations.
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