Missouri victims seek wide-scale clergy abuse investigation

1 year 1 month 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 22 2018 Aug 22, 2018 Wednesday, August 22, 2018 5:30:00 PM CDT August 22, 2018 in News
By: Jim Salter, The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Victims of clergy sexual abuse are calling for a wide-scale investigation of sex crime allegations against Catholic priests in Missouri, and whether the church participated in a cover-up.

One victim, a woman whose son killed himself after being abused as a teenager, and an attorney for other abuse victims spoke Wednesday outside the St. Louis office of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. They urged a statewide investigation similar to one in Pennsylvania that uncovered more than 1,000 cases of abuse.

David Clohessy, 61, of St. Louis, a longtime victims' rights advocate who was abused as a child, said more than 170 priests in Missouri have been accused in recent decades, but few have been convicted. He blamed prosecutors who aren't "assertive or creative enough in exposing and pursuing these wrongdoers."

Hawley's office has said it can help local prosecutors, but it doesn't have jurisdiction to launch its own investigation.

But St. Louis attorney Nicole Gorovsky, who represents sexual abuse survivors in civil cases, said Hawley, a Republican, could take steps such as a civil lawsuit or coordinating with federal and local prosecutors.

"The victims need validation that they will be believed, that this will not keep happening," Gorovsky said.

In the wake of the Pennsylvania report , Pope Francis vowed Monday that "no effort must be spared" to root out clergy sex abuse and cover-up from the Catholic Church, and begged forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims.

Pennsylvania's attorney general said bishops shared the blame because they "protected their institution at all costs." Clohessy said church leaders in Missouri act with "similar recklessness, callousness and deceit."

Mary Ellen Kruger, 76, of Webster Groves said her son was abused by a priest and another man at a Catholic high school in the 1980s. Both men served time in prison, but her son killed himself in 1991.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis said in a statement that Archbishop Robert Carlson "has heard many recommendations for action items in the wake of the grand jury report from Pennsylvania and is prayerfully considering what steps to take to demonstrate accountability and transparency in confronting the evil of sexual abuse by clergy."

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph cooperates "fully with law enforcement and are eager to do so in order to prevent and eliminate dangers to children and vulnerable adults," spokesman Jack Smith said in a statement. He said the diocese has an independent ombudsman who immediately reports accusations of abuse to law enforcement.

Messages left with the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and the Diocese of Jefferson City were not immediately returned.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A Pennsylvania law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Hy-Vee. The lawsuit comes after the grocery... More >>
37 minutes ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:31:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
DETROIT (AP) — Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract deal that could... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 11:05:35 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A St. Thomas man is dead after a tractor crash Tuesday evening. According to the Missouri... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - New trail markers identifying places of interest in the African American community are coming to the downtown Columbia... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The local segment of a national student film competition called "Campus Movie Fest" (CMF) is starting Wednesday at... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A racist image imitating the web site of Columbia's Gentry Middle School was discovered on Google. Viewers... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault that happened over the weekend near... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri released the results Tuesday of a survey on the campus climate surrounding sexual assault... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday Missouri is in no shape to handle a recession if financial... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:13:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From ear to ear, it's hard to miss 94-year-old Elmo Winterhalter's smile. "I don't know I've always... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in EmVP
COLUMBIA - MU Health Care unveiled a new therapeutic, outdoor activity center for patients Tuesday. The area has a... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:14:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Three people were hospitalized after a crash involving an ambulance shut down two major roads Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:20:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
MOKANE - Mokane City Council met last week to discuss plans to reconstruct their old waste and drinking water system.... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 3:09:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order Tuesday to create a campaign to educate, warn, and deter... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:32:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (KSHB) — You never know what you'll encounter as a police officer. One day, you may walk... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:47:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who is on a record-breaking pace during the first half of the season, and Wisconsin running... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in Sports
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana authorities say an improvised explosive device blew up in an elementary school playground in Helena.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:07:00 AM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
3pm 55°
4pm 54°
5pm 54°
6pm 52°