SNAP seeks probe into Ohio dioceses

By By JUSTIN DENNIS, October 9, 2018, The Vindicator

YOUNGSTOWN -- A group representing Catholic Church sex-abuse victims is urging state and county prosecutors to launch a grand-jury-style investigation into dioceses in Youngstown as well as the rest of Ohio – similar to Pennsylvania’s recent report that exposed hundreds of priests.

But prosecutors said it’s not that easy – without criminal allegations from abuse victims at the county level, there are no grounds for an inquiry.

Judy Jones, regional leader of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, met with reporters Tuesday afternoon outside Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s West Federal Street offices, flanked by husband Steve Spaner, who carried a poster board featuring photos of children purportedly abused by Catholic priests.

Jones said the group hasn’t reached out to the attorney general directly. SNAP workers said they have become accustomed to being ignored by authorities or diocesan administrators – and instead work through the media to garner attention. SNAP has prompted similar news conferences in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson and Lucas counties, each with their own Catholic diocese.

“The Pennsylvania grand jury report showed a cover-up and enabling of child-sex crimes – it was a scathing report,” Jones said Tuesday. “Pennsylvania is not just one bad state. ... The church is run the same everywhere. Each diocese is run the same.”

Attorney general spokesman Dan Tierney said  . . . 

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