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Illinois AG report says nearly 2,000 were victims of clergy sex abuse over 70-year span

A report published by the Illinois attorney general’s office alleges that 451 Catholic clerics and religious brothers sexually abused 1,997 victims within the state’s Catholic dioceses over a 70-year period.

The report, published May 23, unveils a comprehensive list of “substantiated child sex abuse” allegations, which the attorney general’s office compiled with assistance from each of the six dioceses in Illinois. The report covers allegations from 1950 through 2019.

Investigators from the attorney general’s office reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents provided by the dioceses related to abuse allegations and policies and procedures on how they dealt with the allegations. They also conducted interviews with diocesan representatives and with numerous victims who made the allegations.

The report notes that each diocese cooperated fully with this investigation, and acknowledged reforms that have been made, but Attorney General Kwame Raoul had harsh words for the Church’s leadership in the past.

“Decades of Catholic leadership decisions and policies have allowed known child sex abusers to hide, often in plain sight,” Raoul said in a statement. “And because the statute of limitations has frequently expired, many survivors of child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clerics will never see justice in a legal sense.”

“It is my hope that this report will shine light both on those who violated their positions of power and trust to abuse innocent children, and on the men in church leadership who covered up that abuse,” Raoul’s statement continued. “These perpetrators may never be held accountable in a court of law, but by naming them here, the intention is to provide a public accountability and a measure of healing to survivors who have long suffered in silence.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency 

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