Md. AG files motion to unveil documents detailing Archdiocese of Baltimore clergy abuse

WJLA-TV (ABC) [Arlington VA]

November 18, 2022

[Click here to see the AG’s motion to disclose investigation findings to the public.]

The Maryland Attorney General filed a motion in court Thursday to have documents and interviews from a four-year investigation into clergy abuse released to the public.

The office’s 456-page report found more than 600 victims of sexual abuse. The abusers were identified as 158 priests and employees of the Catholic Church within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

“There’s a lot more I could say, but I can’t say it yet,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said.

The materials he wants to make public were presented to a grand jury during the course of the investigation. The documents and interviews with clergy, abuse survivors, and witnesses of sexual abuse detail decades of inadequate investigations by the Archdiocese, suppression, and cover-up.

“In many cases the abusers are not able to be prosecuted,” Frosh said. “The statute of limitations has run. Many have passed away. Many of the victims have passed away or moved away, and prosecution is difficult, but truth is extremely important and that’s the main thing that this report is about.”

In many cases, he said those abused never stood a chance at getting justice.

“There is one parish that over a period of 40 years had 11 accused child abusers in that parish,” he said. “We found that there were many instances in which a child would report abuse to another priest, and that priest himself was a child sexual-abuser.”

David Lorenz, the Director of Maryland Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, welcomes the development. However, he questions why the investigation dragged on for four years. A similar investigation in Pennsylvania took about two years.

He said he knows the office lacks resources, still he questions why the report only focuses on Baltimore and not he Archdiocese of Washington or the Diocese of Wilmington.

“They have interview material and they have other stuff, so I really do hope that the incoming attorney general, Anthony Brown, will pick up the mantle and try to get the resources so he can complete this investigation,” Lorenz said.

“I want to say at the outset I apologize to the victims, the survivors of this abuse,” Frosh said. “We expected to wrap this up much sooner and part of the problem is we were understaffed, but part of the problem is that we continued to receive documents from the Catholic Church that as recently as this past July and we wanted to make it complete.”

He said he hopes the grand jury material will be released to bring the crimes and the cover-up to light, and help survivors tell their story.

“I carried this burden for 16 to 17 years myself,” he said. “I didn’t tell soul, and let me tell you, it wears on you. It is a burden.”

“I’d like to reach out to all the people who are quiet, who are keeping this secret. You have an ally. You have people who believe you. Don’t carry this around. There are people here to help you.”