Criminal case marks new phase in clergy investigation


November 6, 2020

By Katie Davis

A criminal case unsealed this week marks a new phase in the Rhode Island Attorney General’s investigation: charges based in part on evidence that was already in church files and in some cases had been reported to law enforcement, but had not led to criminal prosecution in the past.

“I don’t want to really talk about how this case got made,” Attorney General Peter Neronha told NBC 10 News. “Let me just say this: that as we go back and look at all the records, it’s an opportunity to look again at information that the Diocese may have provided to law enforcement.”

A least 100,000 pages of records involving allegations of child sexual abuse, going back some 50 years, have now been turned over to the attorney general’s office by the Diocese of Providence under a voluntary agreement that began last year. Some of those documents had not been seen by law enforcement until now.

“They are more voluminous than I can give you a number on,” Neronha said of the files.

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