NY, NJ Open Clergy Sex Abuse Investigations

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has launched an investigation into how the Catholic Church reviewed and potentially covered up sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy.

She has reportedly issued subpoenas to the eight dioceses in the state.  Underwood is also encouraging victims to come forward.  She has set up an online complaint form and a hotline at 1-800-771-7755.

“I urge all victims and anyone else with information to contact our hotline. And make no mistake: the only way that justice can fully and truly be served is for the legislature to finally pass the Child Victims Act,” Underwood said in a statement.

The investigation comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury report was released last month.  It said that there were more than 1,000 victims in cases that stretched back decades.

“The Pennsylvania grand jury report shined a light on incredibly disturbing and depraved acts by Catholic clergy, assisted by a culture of secrecy and cover ups in the dioceses. Victims in New York deserve to be heard as well – and we are going to do everything in our power to bring them the justice they deserve,” Underwood said.

In New Jersey, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal also announced that he’s forming a task force to investigate possible sexual abuse by members of the clergy.  He has also established a hotline at 855-363-6548.

Grewal said he was “deeply troubled” by the allegations in the Pennsylvania grand jury report.

“The report revealed that sexual assaults on children – and efforts to cover up such assaults – were far more widespread in Pennsylvania than we ever thought possible. We owe it to the people of New Jersey to find out whether the same thing happened here. If it did, we will take action against those responsible,” Grewal said.

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

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