Neronha Strikes Agreement with Diocese of Providence to Review 70 Years of Records


July 23, 2019

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha announced the State of Rhode Island has signed an agreement to gain access to the Diocese of Providence’s records dating back to the 1950s in an effort to find additional cases of sexual abuse by church priests and staff.

As part of an ongoing review of allegations of clergy child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Providence, the Attorney General has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence.

“While this voluntary, additional disclosure by the diocese is an important step forward in our review, much additional work remains. We will not hesitate to take any additional steps that may prove necessary to fully determine the scope of misconduct here and take appropriate action,” said Neronha.

About MOU

This MOU expands on and supplements a 2016 Letter of Understanding between the Office and the Diocese dated August 30, 2016, by providing fuller access to historical records.

In October of 2018, GoLocal reported that the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a national non-profit, has called on Democratic candidate for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha to commit to investigating the Diocese of Providence.

Alliance for Safe Communities, a Rhode Island-based organization advocating for the victims of diocesan sexual abuse, says it has reached out to former U.S. Attorney Neronha regarding his unwillingness to commit to an investigation of the Catholic Diocese sex abuse scandal.

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