Survivor group asks for deeper investigation of priests

News Tribune

September 27, 2018

By Joe Gamm

Survivors of sexual abuse by priests and their supporters delivered a letter to Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday, asking him to command Attorney General Josh Hawley to conduct a criminal investigation — and authorize him to use subpoena power in investigations — of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic Church officials in Missouri.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said they wanted the governor to add teeth to an investigation Hawley began late last month.

Hawley announced Aug. 23 he was starting an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy in the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis. He asked that other dioceses in the state voluntarily allow his office to examine them. Hours later, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of the Jefferson City Diocese invited the AG’s office to review the local diocese.

The late August activities followed a Pennsylvania grand jury release of a report on clergy abuse there.

David Clohessy, former director of SNAP, which was established to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, said as a former law enforcement official, Parson should understand the difference between a “real investigation and an inadequate investigation.”

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