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State attorney general reports 685 priests sexually abused kids

Hawaiians may have heard about the shocking allegations against the Catholic church in Pennsylvania that it covered up child sexual assaults that were committed by priests. Now, the Illinois Attorney General's Office reports that almost 700 Catholic priests in the state have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse over the past few decades. The number is far higher than what had been previously reported by the Catholic Church in its own investigation.

The Illinois Attorney General's Office began an investigation into sexual abuse and assault within the Catholic Church in August 2018. Through its own investigation, the Illinois Attorney General's Office reports that it has identified 500 credible child sexual assault allegations against priests in addition to the 185 that the Catholic Church had previously revealed.

The office began its investigation following the release of a grand jury report in Pennsylvania that identified more than 300 priests and 1,000 child sexual assault victims in that state. Federal authorities opened their own investigation into abuses within the Catholic Church in October. The Illinois Attorney General stated that the investigation reveals that the Catholic Church should not be in charge of investigating itself and that law enforcement authorities were not contacted in many of the cases.

The victims of sexual abuse may suffer lifelong consequences. When people are victimized as children by trusted adults, they may face ongoing psychological and emotional trauma, problems with relationships and other issues. People may want to talk to an experienced sexual abuse lawyer about what happened to them. Even if the criminal statute of limitations has passed, it is possible that the victims may be able to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions by filing civil sexual assault lawsuits against them. Filing civil lawsuits may help the victims to recover damages and to help to prevent others from being victimized in the future.

Source: Yahoo, "Almost 700 Catholic clergy in Illinois accused of sexual abuse: official," Dec. 19, 2018.

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