Attorney General Shapiro Meets with Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse
By Ivey DeJesus
June 28, 2018
|Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday met with a group of survivors of clergy sex abuse from Pennsylvania. Shapiro vowed to fight for the release of a grand jury report, now under a stay order from the state Supreme Court.(Office of the Attorney General)|
Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Thursday seemed to send a message to anyone standing in the way of the release of a grand jury report into clergy sex abuse.
Shapiro met with a group of survivors of clergy sex abuse from Pennsylvania, and in a written statement to the media said: "The people of Pennsylvania have the right to hear what I heard today. The voices of these victims, who have held this pain inside themselves for far too long, must not be silenced."
The meeting comes a week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court temporarily halted the release of the report in response to challenges that have been filed by individuals named in the report.
The court has issued a stay against the long-awaited grand jury report, which is expected to expose decades of child sex abuse at the hands of priests across six dioceses in Pennsylvania.
The court has noted that it is in the process of reviewing challenges filed by "many individuals" named in the report.
The stay could delay the release of the report for months.
Shapiro has vowed to continue to fight for the release of the 884-page report.
On Thursday he met with survivors at his Strawberry Square office.
"I met today with a group of brave, strong people who have experienced terrible trauma - sexual abuse at the hands of priests within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania," Shapiro said. "I listened to their truth. Their stories are powerful and traumatic and I was inspired by their courage."
Shapiro reiterated that his office remained "focused and committedae to ensuring that the grand jury report is released.
In its opinion, the Supreme Court noted that the findings of the 18-month long investigation "is a matter of great public interest."
The petitioners challenging the release allege that they are named or identified in a way that unconstitutionally infringes on their right to reputation and denies them due process.
The individuals are named in the report but not indicted for any charges.
Victims advocates have expressed concerns that the delay could further traumatize victims.