One year ago, with victims of child abuse by priests standing behind him, Attorney General Josh Shapiro revealed a grand jury report that stunned the nation.
“All of the victims were brushed aside in every part of the state by church leaders, who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all,” Shapiro said on Aug. 14, 2018.
“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing, they hid it all for decades,” Shapiro added.
A year later, Shapiro has mixed emotions on what has happened since.
“I guess my emotions can be summed up in two words: inspired and disappointed,” Shapiro told KDKA political editor Jon Delano in an exclusive sit-down interview. “I am inspired by the survivors who shared their truth that led to the grand jury report, and the survivors who have shared their truth since that has led 20 state attorneys general opening an investigation, the feds launching a probe.”
Shapiro credits the survivors with keeping the heat on both the church and state Senators, who have failed to pass grand jury recommendations approved by Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives.
“I’m disappointed that while other states have adopted the grand jury reforms — neighboring states like New York and New Jersey — our state Senate leadership has failed to even bring it up for a vote,” Shapiro said.
The grand jury urged four changes to state law: eliminate criminal statute of limitations on child sex abuse; clarify who must report and when abuse must be reported; prohibit church confidentiality agreements with survivors from preventing disclosures to law enforcement; and give survivors a two-year window to sue their abusers in civil court.
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SOURCE: KDKA2 CBS Pittsburgh, Jon Delano