Diocesan investigator pledges to speak with anyone with information about priest sexual abuse

The Day

November 9, 2020

By Joe Wojtas

Norwich – The retired state Superior Court judge leading the Diocese of Norwich’s investigation into the extent of sexual abuse of children by priests assigned to the diocese said Monday that his team’s goal is to “speak with as many persons as possible who have information relevant to our investigation.”

Michael E. Riley, made the written comments in response to questions posed by The Day.

On Sunday, the diocese revealed to the region’s Catholics that it has spent the past 13 months investigating abuse dating back to 1953 as part of its “Clerical Sexual Abuse Accountability Investigation.”

The Day had asked Riley if he is interviewing the many men and women who say they were sexually assaulted by diocesan priests, attorneys who have represented some of them in civil cases or if he is interviewing retired Bishop of Norwich Daniel Reilly, who documents show transferred priests who had complaints made against them for sexually assaulting children and teens to other parishes.

Riley said investigators would speak with people whether they are survivors of abuse, alleged perpetrators of abuse or diocesan administrators.

He said they also plan to reach out to attorneys who have represented victims requesting they encourage their clients to speak with them and will also reach out to survivor groups for their input.

“We encourage any survivor or witness to contact us through the toll-free hotline we have established, and we appreciate the media’s support in publicizing the hotline and reporting website so that our investigation can be as thorough as possible. The diocese has committed that we will have unrestricted access to all of its current and former staff, priests and administrators including bishops. We will make those judgments based on the details of the investigation as it unfolds,” he wrote.

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