After an investigation by the Maryland Attorney General, 158 Roman Catholic Priests in the Archdiocese of Baltimore have been accused of sexually and physically abusing more than 600 victims over the past 80 years, according to court records last Thursday.
Attorney General Brian Frosh announced that his office has completed a 463-page report on the investigation that began in 2019.
Three years ago, Frosh launched a criminal investigation of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests and other employees of the Archdiocese of Baltimore with thousands of documents dating back to the 1940s produced in response to grand jury subpoenas.
In addition, the attorney general’s office created an email address and telephone hotline for people to report information. According to reports, over 300 hundred people contacted the office, and investigators interviewed hundreds of victims and witnesses.
The report entitled “Clergy Abuse in Maryland,” identifies 115 priests who were prosecuted for sex abuse and/or identified publicly by the archdiocese as having been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.
It also includes an additional 43 priests accused of sexual abuse but not identified publicly by the archdiocese. Additionally, court permission is required because the report contains information from grand jury subpoenas. However, it is unclear when the court will make a decision.
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore apologized in a letter released on Thursday. Check out the letter below:
While the court filing noted that more than 600 victims were identified, it also noted that “there are almost certainly hundreds more, as the Department of Justice’s Annual Crime Victimization Report has demonstrated that most incidents of sexual assault go unreported.”
Both boys and girls were abused, according to the court filing, with ages ranging from preschool through young adulthood. Also noted in the filings ws that the sexual abuse was so pervasive, the court filing said, that victims were sometimes reporting sexual abuse to priests who were perpetrators themselves.
The investigation also revealed that the archdiocese failed to report many allegations of sexual abuse, conduct adequate investigations of alleged abuse, remove abusers from the ministry or restrict their access to children.
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