SNAP Applauds News Organizations’ Fight to Unseal Abuse Records in North Carolina

Several major news organizations in North Carolina are going to court in order to unseal records related to two local cases of alleged clergy sexual abuse. We applaud this effort and hope that their request is successful.

The Charlotte Observer, WBTV, WCNC, and WSOC have filed motions asking for the release of documents from two separate lawsuits, saying that the information is of significant public interest, and that the Diocese of Charlotte did not prove that the narrow range of circumstances existed in which such documents can be sealed.

We are grateful for this request as, for too long, information related to abusers in North Carolina communities have been hidden by church officials and their lawyers, even though this information could help protect children and vulnerable adults. This is especially true in the Diocese of Charlotte, which has yet to release a list of accused clerics. Such secrecy should not be permitted.

Informed communities are safer communities, and we support this attempt to create more informed communities in North Carolina. We are grateful that these media organizations are working to get information into the hands of parents, parishioners and the public that can be used to keep people safe. We are also grateful that church officials have said that they will not oppose this motion, as long as that is the “desire” of the plaintiffs in the two suits.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and it is time for some sunlight in Charlotte.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(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)


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