In court records filed on Nov. 17, the Maryland attorney general’s office identified 158 Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore accused of sexually and physically abusing 600 victims over the past 80 years, Tim Prudente and Liz Bowie report for the Baltimore Banner. The AG’s office is calling for the Baltimore City Circuit Court to release the 456-page grand jury investigation, which details a four-year investigation into a “pervasive” culture of abuse and “complicit silence.”
What investigation details could be released?
The report includes the names of 115 priests who were previously prosecuted for sexual abuse or who were identified by the archdiocese as having credible accusations levied against them. The AG’s office also found an additional 43 priests accused of sexual abuse whose names had not been publicly available.
Thirteen of those 43 priests are still living, and investigators agreed to redact their names from the public version of the report if the court agrees to release it. But some survivors are urging the archdiocese to release those names.
“It’s incumbent on the diocese to publish those 13 names,” said David Lorenz, director of the Maryland Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “OK, the attorney general can’t, or has a big hurdle, a hill they don’t want to climb. I’m very disappointed. I think the church now has a responsibility.”
Anything else I should know?
Many survivors have also encouraged the AG’s office to pursue criminal charges against the newly identified priests, but Attorney General Brian Frosh said that in several cases, either the priest or the victim has died or the statute of limitations for misdemeanors has expired. Frosh retires in January, so any future criminal investigations will be headed by the new Attorney General-elect Anthony Brown.
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