Colorado Attorney General Announces Investigation into Clergy Sex Abuse
Colorado’s top law enforcement official has announced that he is opening an investigation into clergy sex abuse and cover-ups in his state.
We applaud Attorney General Phil Weiser for announcing that his office is partnering with a former U.S. attorney to launch a statewide criminal investigation regarding sexual abuse by priests. Institutions cannot police themselves, so independent investigations like these are the best way to get to the truth when it comes to clergy sex abuse and cover-ups.
It is notable to us that this announcement comes on the eve of the papal abuse summit taking place in Rome. Many observers have looked to this summit as a chance for action to be taken to protect children and prevent future cases of abuse, but investigations like the one that A.G. Wesier is undertaking are, to us, the best kind of action that can be taken. For years, church officials have ignored, minimized, and covered-up allegations of abuse. We are excited that secular authorities are taking those allegations seriously today.
This announcement marks Colorado as the 17th state to start their own investigation into clergy sex abuse. 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 will also provide the possibility of legislative mechanisms, such as statutes of limitation reform, that will allow survivors to seek justice.
We also hope that, in the coming days, A.G. Weiser will establish a hotline or reporting website that will give survivors an witnesses a safe and secure way to report their allegations directly to law enforcement authorities. We urge anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered sexual abuse at the hands of clergy in Colorado to come forward and make a report today.
(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)