Washington D.C. launches investigation into sexual abuse by priests
Following yesterday’s launch of a hotline and website by the U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C., the District’s top law enforcement official announced today that he is opening an investigation into sex abuse by clergy.
We are thrilled to hear that A.G. Karl Racine has opened an investigation. Investigations like these – fully independent and backed by subpoena power – are the best way to get the truth regarding sex abuse scandals and cover-ups and we fully support this action.
With today’s announcement, Washington D.C. joins 13 states who have opened their own investigations into clergy sex abuse following the bombshell Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. Given how important holding perpetrators accountable can be – both for survivors’ healing and the prevention of future cases – we hope that these investigations will not only lead to more survivors coming forward, but also provide an impetus for state legislatures to begin reforming their statutes of limitations or opening windows for old cases to be brought forward.
Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington D.C. set up both a hotline and a web page that anyone who may have seen or suffered abuse can use to share their information. The Attorney General has also set up a separate website that can be used to submit reports. We encourage anyone who may have any information related to sexual abuse by priests in Washington D.C. to make a report of what they may have seen, suspected or suffered to both websites and hotlines.
CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Treasurer, Local DC SNAP leader (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, (703) 801-6044), David Lorenz, SNAP Maryland leader (David.Lorenz@verizon.net, 301-906-9161) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Secretary (925-708-6175, email@example.com) Zach Hiner, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.