California State AG

Mr. Xavier Becerra

California Attorney General

1300 I Street, Suite 1740

Sacramento CA 95814

 

Dear Attorney General Becerra,

After reading reports of the Pennsylvania grand jury, I can no longer trust that my children are safe in the State of California. I am both outraged and disturbed by what they found.  

As a resident of the state of California, I ask and implore you to conduct an independent investigation into probable sexual abuse of children and minors by clergy in the Catholic Church. Serious criminal acts were committed by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania. We fear harm to hundreds or perhaps thousands of children in the state of California have also occurred.  

The shocking Grand Jury Report demonstrates a cavalier disregard for children’s health and safety.  It is imperative that the investigation include the following three factors: 1) be independent and separate from the church, 2) employ subpoena authority, and 3) compel testimony under oath.

Our community relies on you and other organizations of law enforcement for the safety of our community.  Perpetrators of these crimes, and those responsible for covering up these crimes, need to be held accountable.  This initiative will protect future children from sexual assault in our great state.  We need to make the very strong statement that there will be criminal consequences for protecting an institution over the safety and well being of a child.  

Out of the 1000 victims in the state of Pennsylvania, only 2 will be able to seek justice due to PA SOL laws.  

The PA Grand Jury Report is replete with story after story of how the Church turned their back to their victims.  Please don’t do the same to the victims in California.  These survivors deserve more from this great state.    

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,

Name

Address

 

CA State AG   http://ag.ca.gov/

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  • Ross Heckmann
    commented 2018-10-11 20:36:51 -0500
    I am inclined to think that my letter should be addressed to the California Department of Justice’s [“DOJ”] Bureau of Children’s Justice [“BCP”]. Please let me know if you agree or disagree with me, and why, and please let me know if you have any other ideas about the letter to the Cal. DOJ as well.

    A brief two-page set of Frequently Asked Questions located at https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/bcj/bcj-faqs.pdf explains what the Bureau of Children’s Justice is and does, and the types of cases on which it focuses, which include:

    [FAQ 1]
    “• Human trafficking of vulnerable youth
    • Childhood trauma and exposure to violence
    • Consumer protection relating to services and products for children or families with children [presumably, including religious services—Ross]

    [FAQ 3]
    BCJ was created to pursue cases with the potential for broad impact in the seven priority areas outlined . . . above.
    The following is a non-exhaustive list of the types of cases BCJ is designed to address:
    • Cases addressing systemic failures and/or severe, widespread harm against children served by a local public
    entity, private for-profit business, or nonprofit organization [including churches? Ross] . . . .
    • Cases targeting policies or practices with a disproportionate effect on our most vulnerable children,
    including children in poverty, children of color . . . . immigrant children . . . .
    “• Cases that might be difficult for private or representative individuals to bring due to legal barriers, such as
    issues of standing and arbitration clauses, or practical barriers, such as the low likelihood of monetary relief [or statute of limitations problems? Ross]
    • Cases targeting conduct that is multi-jurisdictional or wide-reaching so as to impact children in various
    jurisdictions across the state . . . .

    [FAQ 5]
    “How could BCJ be involved in a case?
    On a case-by-case basis, BCJ may be involved in the following ways:
    • Civil investigations, including issuing investigative subpoenas under Government Code § 11180 et seq.,
    and affirmative litigation (independently or, in some cases, jointly with another organization or agency)
    • Criminal investigations and prosecutions
    • Intervention in ongoing litigation
    • Amicus participation
    • Mediation (in limited circumstances)
    • Policy reform efforts . . . .

    [FAQ 8]
    “How can I notify BCJ of a potential case?
    In order to ensure that the potential case is given due consideration, we ask that you notify BCJ in two ways. First,

    contact BCJ at BCJTips@doj.ca.gov. Please describe the potentially unlawful activity, the identity of the entity that

    is engaged in this activity, and contact information for an attorney to follow up.

    Second, file a Complaint with our Public Inquiry Unit:

    • Against a business: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company
    • Against another entity: http://oag.ca.gov/contact/general-comment-question-or-complaint-form
    Anyone can file a tip or complaint, and it does not need to include legal analysis. Instead, the tip or complaint
    should include as much detail as possible about the facts of the matter. All inquiries will be kept confidential. "

    Thanks so very much to anyone able to respond, and thanks so much to SNAP for setting this up.
  • Ross Heckmann
    followed this page 2018-10-11 19:41:21 -0500
  • Tom Cahill
    commented 2018-09-17 16:18:04 -0500
    Dear Attorney General Becerra,

    After reading reports of the Pennsylvania grand jury, I can no longer trust that my children are safe in the State of California. I am both outraged and disturbed by what they found.

    As a resident of the state of California, I respectfully demand that you conduct an independent investigation into probable sexual abuse of children and minors by clergy in the Catholic Church. Serious criminal acts were committed by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania. We fear harm to hundreds or perhaps thousands of children in the state of California have also occurred.

    The shocking Grand Jury Report demonstrates a cavalier disregard for children’s health and safety. It is imperative that the investigation include the following three factors: 1) be independent and separate from the church, 2) employ subpoena authority, and 3) compel testimony under oath.

    Our community relies on you and other organizations of law enforcement for the safety of our community. Perpetrators of these crimes, and those responsible for covering up these crimes, need to be held accountable. This initiative will protect future children from sexual assault in our great state. We need to make the very strong statement that there will be criminal consequences for protecting an institution over the safety and well being of a child.

    Out of the 1000 victims in the state of Pennsylvania, only 2 will be able to seek justice due to PA SOL laws.

    The PA Grand Jury Report is replete with story after story of how the Church turned their back to their victims. Please don’t do the same to the victims in California. These survivors deserve more from this great state.

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

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