Catholic News Agency
February 28, 2019
The Nebraska Department of Justice on Tuesday issued subpoenas to more than 400 Catholic churches and institutions, seeking any records related to sexual assault or abuse of children.
“The Nebraska Department of Justice has appreciated the voluntary cooperation demonstrated by the churches. However, the Department believes that subpoenas are necessary in order to ensure all reports of impropriety have been submitted to the appropriate authorities,” read a Feb. 26 statement from the attorney general’s office.
“It is our goal that all reports of abuse are subject to complete law enforcement review and investigation as warranted.”
The subpoenas, issued to institutions such as parishes and schools, as well as the dioceses, “request all records or information related to any child sexual assault or abuse that has occurred by those employed or associated with each church or institution, whether previously reported or not.”
Each of the state’s dioceses have indicated their cooperation with a request made by the attorney general in September 2018 voluntarily to provide information on sexual abuse and other misconduct since 1978.
The Archdiocese of Omaha announced Nov. 30 that it had submitted to the attorney general “documents pertaining to church personnel accused of criminal sexual misconduct since 1978.” The documents included information on alleged abuse or misconduct with minors that dated back as far was 1956, but was not reported to the archdiocese until 1978.
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