It’s CALL YOUR ATTORNEY GENERAL time!
In practically every state, the top law enforcement official is called the state attorney general.
In the last two years, about half of them have started investigations into the Catholic abuse crisis.
If you have not called YOUR AG to share what you know or suspect about clergy crimes or cover ups, you should. Here’s why.
If your AG is already DOING an investigation, who knows when it will end? (So best to act now before it’s too late.)
If your AG is NOT DOING an investigation, s/he should be prodded to do so ASAP, before even more evidence is lost or destroyed, even more memories fade and witnesses die, even more predators hurt even more kids, and even more deadlines (like the statute of limitations) expire.
There are many reasons to stay quiet: “Nothing will be done, so why waste my time.” “I don’t have first hand information.” “I tried once before to talk with law enforcement but it wasn’t helpful.” “It’s probably too late for anyone to do anything.”
None of these should stop you, however, from picking up the phone or sending an email to your AG.
Because it’s our moral duty to tell law enforcement what we know or suspect (and it’s THEIR duty, not ours, to figure out whether something can be done).
Because that’s also our civic duty.
Because sometimes a tidbit of information (even if it’s old or seemingly small) can make a big difference to law enforcement.
Because sometimes even just rumors or suspicions or ‘second hand’ information can be helpful.
Because times are changing and law enforcement is being more creative and aggressive than ever about going after both predators and enablers (their supervisors and colleagues who ignore or conceal known or suspected crimes).
Because laws have changed and technology has improved, both of which enable police and prosecutors to purse wrongdoing from even decades ago.
Because AGs, if they can’t take action, will know best which local law enforcement to forward your information to – whether it’s a county sheriff or a local prosecutor or a police department or the FBI.
Because going after institutional wrongdoers – the higher-ups who hide or turn a blind eye to possible abuse – often requires more resources than local law enforcement may have (and a lot of AGs wield a LOT of power).
Because taking action to help others almost always helps you sleep better at night!
So, we at Horowitz Law beg you: “lease stop stalling. Contact your AG. Share what you know or suspect. Or prod your AG to step up and join the 20+ AGs who are investigating this crisis.
(This link might save you a little searching: https://www.snapnetwork.org/ag_investigation_hotlines)
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in many states now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options today.