Florida launches statewide criminal investigation into sexual abuse by priests
For immediate release: October 4, 2018
We are thrilled to hear that the Florida Attorney General’s office has launched a statewide criminal investigation regarding sexual abuse by priests. 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 support the action today by AG Pam Bondi.
Today’s announcement marks Florida as the 13th state to start their own investigation into dioceses in their state 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.
Fortunately, in Florida there already is there is no statute of limitations on felony sex assault in Florida, meaning that survivors of sexual abuse may get a chance to hold their perpetrators accountable due to this investigation. According to Bondi, 15 survivors have already come forward. With today’s announcement, we expect there will be more.
The Attorney General has set up a web page that anyone who may have seen or suffered abuse can use to share their information. We encourage anyone who may have any information related to sexual abuse by priests in Florida to add their voice to the investigation and make a report using the Attorney General’s website.
(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.