The Wider World

Grand jury report tells of ‘predator priests’

A GRAND JURY report says that 300 “predator priests” in Pennsylvania sexually assaulted 1,000 or more children over several decades.

Over 300 Catholic priests sexually assaulted 1,000 or more children in Pennsylvania over a period of decades, while church officials covered up the attacks.

That’s is the report of a special grand jury released on Tuesday which outlined attacks by “predator priests” who committed multiple offenses but who went unpunished.

The estimate of 1,000 child victims may be low. “We believe that the real number – of children whose records were lost, or who were afraid ever to come forward – is in the thousands,” the grand jury said.

State attorney general Josh Shapiro presented the 884-page report at a press conference in Harrisburg. The report included details of priests creating child pornography, beating children and sexually abusing as many as 15 children, some as young as 7. Boys and girls were both victims.

The report, which covers six dioceses in the state, recommends that the statue of limitations be changed to allow victims more time to make complaints. Under current law, most of the priests accused can’t be prosecuted because of the years that have passed.

An attorney for one of the dioceses said “the Catholic Church discussed in the grand jury report no longer exists, and hasn’t existed for a long time.”

The full report is available here:

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