For Dallas police detective, investigating Catholic sex-abuse cases a full-time job

By David Tarrant

Dallas police detective David Clark has spent eight years investigating the horrors of child exploitation — a job that still motivates him because he gets to catch abusers, even if it takes years.

“What really gets me is somebody is living their life and thinking they got away with something,” he said.

Now, Clark’s full-time focus at the Dallas Police Department is on investigating sex-abuse allegations — including many that are decades-old — by Catholic clergy members.

The Catholic Church worldwide has been rocked by the latest spate of sex-abuse scandals, prompting dioceses to take new transparency measures. Victims’ advocates, however, still don’t trust the church, and say outside law enforcement officers, like Clark, need to take the lead on the cases.

Clark — the son of a 41-year veteran Dallas officer and detective who retired in 2012 — joined the department in 1998 after graduating from the University of North Texas. His supervisor, Sgt. Rene Sigala, said Clark is “relentless,” and “will not stop until he solves the cases assigned to him.”

Clark said he’s driven to help adults who have survived child abuse.

“One single case of abuse can affect a person for a lifetime,” he said. “It can affect those relatio...

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