A U.S. Pennsylvania Grand Jury has concluded its investigation; finding that over 300 Roman Catholic priests systematically abused more than 1,000 children over a span of almost 100 years.
Tuesday, Aug. 14, the grand jury released its 1,400 page report detailing that 6 of the 8 Catholic diocese within the state had priests and/or church leaders who routinely sexually molested thousands of children while simultaneously persuading them not to report the sex attacks.
OVER 300 PRIESTS
Pennsylvania prosecutor Josh Shapiro gave comment Tuesday of the Grand Jury findings at press conference, saying; “Documentation of victim sex abuse was found cataloged in various Bishop archives, and those records of abuse became the backbone of our 2 year investigation.”
State investigators have identified over 1,000 of the (then) alleged child sex assault victims, with said supposed evidence also implicating more than 300 Catholic priests within Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s Grand Jury examined bishoprics encompassing more than half of Pennsylvania’s 3.2 million Catholic faithful and is reminiscent of other reports detailing sexual abuse within America’s churches.
“Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped accountability,” the grand jury wrote. “Priests raped little boys & girls,and the men of God who were leaders responsible for those priests not only did nothing; they were instrumental in concealing those sordid acts for almost a century.”
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The grand jury summation gave that while some accused priests were removed from ministry, the church officials who protected them remained in church office, some even receiving church promotion.
The Pennsylvania grand jury investigation is unlikely to lead to criminal charges or civil lawsuits due to statute of limitations. Only 2 cases have led to filing of criminal charges.
* In the United States, a grand jury is a legal body empowered to investigate potential criminal conduct, and determine whether charges should be brought.
The United States & Liberia are the only two countries that retain grand juries,
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