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Grand jury report: 300+ priests sexually abused thousands

Hawaiians may be shocked to learn about the widespread sexual abuse that happened in Pennsylvania. According to news sources, more than 300 Catholic priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children.

A grand jury report that was released detailed sexual abuse by priests dating back to 1947. The report also detailed how the church worked to cover up the abuse instead of reporting the predators to law enforcement officers. In many cases, priests who were credibly accused were simply moved to new dioceses, and the people in those new churches were never warned about the priests.

According to the report, the victims included boys and girls as well as teens and prepubescent children. Many of the abuse incidents occurred prior to 2002. The church enacted new policies during that year, which were subsequently revised in 2011 and 2018. On July 25, the Pennsylvania attorney general sent a letter to the Vatican asking that the Pope direct leaders of the church to stop covering up the abuse and trying to silence the victims. In many of the cases, the statute of limitations has passed for the priests to face criminal charges.

Sexual abuse can cause victims to suffer lifelong trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder and emotional problems. People who have been the victims of sexual abuse might want to consult with attorneys who are experienced in handling such cases. An attorney may work to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. By filing lawsuits, the victims may be able to recover compensatory damages, and they might also be able to recover punitive damages. Civil sexual abuse lawsuits may proceed simultaneously to any criminal action, and they may be easier to prove than criminal charges.

Source: CNN, "Report details sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church," Daniel Burke, Aug. 15, 2018.

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