Victims of abuse by Catholic clergy call on Ohio attorney general for action
It's time for Ohio to investigate sex crimes by Catholic Church clergy. That was the message from advocates holding protests and press conferences around Ohio.
A group called SNAP, short for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference at 1 p.m. Monday in front of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Cincinnati office. Three SNAP protestors showed up holding pictures of children from around the country who say they were abused.
SNAP is calling on DeWine to follow the lead of other states that have recently investigated clergy sex crimes and cover-ups.
Last week, Michigan's attorney general seized abuse records in each of that state's seven dioceses.
But DeWine's office says Ohio law doesn't allow for statewide investigations and grand juries, such as the one that revealed years of abuse in Pennsylvania.
Under Ohio law, local police and prosecutors must investigate crimes – by priests or anyone else – committed in their county.
That happened in 2003 when then-Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk pleaded no contest to charges that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati failed to report child sexual abuse by priests in Hamilton County.
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.