Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Illinois AG Releases Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse

Yesterday, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released its 696-page Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois (full text). The Report stems from an investigation thar began in 2018. The Attorney General's message that begins the report says in part:

As a direct result of this investigation and my team’s persistence, the dioceses have improved their policies relating to their investigations of child sex abuse allegations and the public disclosure of substantiated child sex abusers. Before this investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly listed only 103 substantiated child sex abusers. By comparison, this report reveals names and detailed information of 451Catholic clerics and religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children across all of the dioceses in Illinois.

The Report concludes with a series of recommendations. It points out that in 2014, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations for civil claims of child sex abuse. However, that law does not permit filling of claims for which the statute of limitations had run before 2014, and the Illinois Supreme Court has held that creating a look-back window for such claims would require an amendment to the state constitution. The Report suggests that Dioceses establish independent mediation and compensation programs that would cover these claims. AP discusses reactions to the AG's Report.