Wisconsin clergy abuse inquiry: AG Kaul provides update

WITI [Milwaukee WI]

July 27, 2021

By Christina Van Zelst

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday, July 27 provided an update on the statewide inquiry into clergy and faith leader abuse.

The review of such abuse cases was announced in April as the first statewide independent review. Since then, Kaul said the state has received dozens of reports.

“What we are doing is encouraging survivors to report,” Kaul said. “We have received over 100 reports through this reporting system, many of who are reporting previously reported, but some of the people are reporting for the first time.”

The attorney general said there are three goals of the abuse review:

  • Getting a measure of accountability
  • Connecting survivors with victim services
  • Preventing anything like this from happening again

“We have a multidisciplinary team that reviews the report. That team consists of a prosecutor, an investigator and a victim advocate, and they make an assessment on the information received about what the next step is,” said Kaul.

Officials are still taking reports of clergy abuse for the next few months and continue to reach out to diocese across Wisconsin.

“Based on the information we receive, that’s going to determine where we go next with this review, and we’ll indicate what options may or may not be available,” Kaul said.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese, which is part of the statewide inquiry, issued the following statement:

“We continue to cooperate with any new allegations against a living priest, and have not received any word from the attorney general that any have been received.”

Clergy or faith leader abuse can be reported through supportsurvivors.widoj.gov or by calling 1-877-222-2620.