Associated Press: Feds open clergy abuse probe in Pennsylvania

By Maryclaire Dale and Eric Tucker, Associated Press, October 18, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania, using subpoenas to demand secret files and testimony from high-ranking leaders in what victims’ advocates say is the first such probe ever launched by the U.S. Justice Department.

The subpoenas, served last week, follow a scathing state grand jury report over the summer that found that 301 “predator priests” in Pennsylvania had molested more than 1,000 children over seven decades and that church leaders had covered up for the offenders.

“It’s groundbreaking if we’re going to see one of the U.S. attorneys pursuing the Catholic cases,” said Marci Hamilton, a University of Pennsylvania professor and chief executive of Child USA, a nonprofit think tank focused on preventing child abuse. “The federal government has so far been utterly silent on the Catholic cases.”

At least seven of the state’s eight Roman Catholic dioceses — Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Erie, Greensburg, Allentown and Harrisburg — acknowledged receiving subpoenas and said they would cooperate or were working with Justice Department officials.

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  • Richard Kensinger, MSW
    commented 2018-10-24 16:19:51 -0500
    I reside in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and AJD acknowledges receipt of and cooperation w/ a federal subpoena. I support such a move due to the persisting cover-up by the diocese w/ assistance from Catholic legal and law enforcement persons.
    Rich, MSW

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