Journalists Find Priests Accused of Child Sex Abuse Are Still Working and Living Around Children
The Associated Press recently released a frightening article after nine months of researching the locations and occupations of ousted priests accused of sexual misconduct. The journalists investigated the names of priests from lists released by the Catholic dioceses as having been credibly accused of child sex abuse. They found that of the 2,000 accused priests who remain alive nearly 1,700 were living largely unsupervised.
Even more disturbing is that 65 former clergy members were charged with crimes after leaving the church including sexual assault, possession of child pornography, and indecent exposure. The disgraced priests were able to escape scrutiny because many did not face criminal charges when their accusers reported abuse to the church. If priests voluntarily leave their dioceses or if the church permanently defrocks them, the church no longer has authority to monitor them. Without allegations being reported to law enforcement and without the watch of the church, the accused predators are free to live their lives without consequence or scrutiny.
The AP found 190 of the accused priests held some type of professional licensing, such as educators, counselors, social workers, and medical personnel. In one case, an accused priest left the church and went on to become a counselor at a school for troubled boys where he was arrested for sexual battery after it was found he was sexually abusing young boys during counseling sessions.
Media, non-profits, victims, and survivor groups have found ways to track and monitor accused clergy members. Some have created their own databases and others have created documentaries to bring attention to the issue. Still, the concern is that the church is not doing its part to track the accused clergy members and the fear is that they will reoffend and continue to victimize children.
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Victims of these types of sexual abuse have suffered in silence long enough. If you are a victim, you should know there is something that may be done to ease your pain and suffering. You may be able to seek justice for the emotional and physical harm inflicted upon you and for the betrayal by those you should have been able to trust. Let the experienced attorneys at Baron & Budd fight for you. Call us at or online.