A.G. UNDERWOOD ANNOUNCES CLERGY ABUSE HOTLINE – PART OF INVESTIGATION INTO SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN WITHIN NY DIOCESES OF CATHOLIC CHURCH
Victims and Anyone with Information are Encouraged to Call Hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or File Complaint Online at ag.ny.gov/ClergyAbuse
AG Launched Civil Investigation into How Catholic Church Reviewed and Potentially Covered Up Sexual Abuse; AG Also Seeking to Partner with District Attorneys on Viable Criminal Prosecutions
NEW YORK – Today, New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced a clergy abuse hotline and online complaint form through which victims and anyone with information can provide information – part of the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into sexual abuse of children within the New York dioceses of the Catholic Church.
Victims and anyone with information about abuse can call the hotline at 1-800-771-7755 or file a complaint online at ag.ny.gov/ClergyAbuse. An investigator will review all allegations; the Attorney General and our law enforcement partners will seek to protect victims’ and witnesses’ identities.
The Attorney General’s Charities Bureau has launched a civil investigation into how the dioceses and other church entities – which are non-profit institutions – reviewed and potentially covered up allegations of extensive sexual abuse of minors.
As announced last month, the Attorney General’s Criminal Division is also seeking to partner with District Attorneys – who are the only entities that currently have the power to convene grand juries to investigate these matters – to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any individuals who have committed criminal offenses that fall within the applicable statutes of limitations.
The Attorney General encourages any victim of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy to participate in this investigation, even if they believe that their information may be outside the statute of limitations for a court case. All victim information will be helpful to understanding and reforming the institutional approach of the Church, regardless of whether an individual case can be prosecuted.