December 14, 2020
By Jesse Paul and Jennifer Brown
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office said time limited the investigation. The Catholic Church says it’s taken responsibility. But victims say the whole story hasn’t been told.
Warning: This story contains explicit descriptions of sexual assault.
Apair of explosive reports on decades of child sex abuse in Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses named 52 priests but kept confidential the identities of numerous church officials — from administrators to bishops — who covered up or ignored allegations of misconduct and transferred known child abusers to work in other parishes.
The Colorado Sun counted 37 priests in the two investigative documents — one released last year and another earlier this month — whose abuse was hidden by the church, either because officials ignored victims’ stories, chose not to investigate or did not report suspected abuse to law enforcement. In many cases, the church allowed an abusive priest to continue working as clergy despite warnings about their behavior.
There were 212 people who were abused by priests as children or teens between 1950 and 2000 who came forward during the independent investigation, which began in February 2019. Of those, 113 were preyed upon by 14 priests after the church had been warned about their behavior, according to the independent investigation.
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