It is unsurprising that the Diocese of Bridgeport is distancing themselves from Fr. Jean Marie DeGraff now that he has been arrested in Canada. After all, that’s exactly what they did when he was accused of abusing a child when he was an extern priest there in 2008. It is also extremely troubling that both the Department of Children and Families and the Diocese of Bridgeport washed their hands of this priest after their investigation in 2008, because that effectively allowed him to remain free and commit the crimes he is being arrested for today.
Child sex abuse victims are, by definition, children. So they can sometimes get details wrong, especially about time and place. It’s premature and hurtful for anyone to assume that Bernie Fine's defense lawyers are right when they claim to have found exculpatory evidence.
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.