Missouri victims seek wide-scale clergy abuse investigation

5 months 3 weeks 4 days 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
STURGEON - A judge ordered the city of Sturgeon to reinstate Greg Halderman as its police chief, according to court... More >>
6 minutes ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 5:05:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa opened up the grounds of the Governor's Mansion on Saturday... More >>
58 minutes ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 4:13:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Money raised at the 14 th annual Rootin’ Tootin’ Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon will benefit the Columbia... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 3:42:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Even with slick sidewalks and snowy roads, runners still showed up for Mizzou's Rockin' Against Multiple Sclerosis 5K... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 2:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Sixty-three more people have been infected with salmonella linked to raw turkey products in an outbreak that began... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 12:27:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:25:00 AM CST February 16, 2019 in News
SARCOXIE, Mo. (AP) — The Jasper County prosecutor on Thursday charged a 23-year-old English teacher at Sarcoxie High School with... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 9:56:18 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Battle High School's Girls Wrestling team will make history by competing in the first high school girls state... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:56:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The first snow system has come to an end and two more are on the way in less... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Despite the treacherous conditions, some people have no choice but to drive in weather like Friday's. "My... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 6:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 21 dogs and 21 cats from a property in western Missouri Friday.... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 5:42:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another winter blast hit Missouri Friday, causing multiple accidents, closing schools and leaving highway experts... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 4:03:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A traffic stop for following too close led to troopers seizing oxycodone, THC wax, shatter, a product... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Ameren Missouri said several thousand jobs will be created as part of an effort to upgrade its... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:49:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – The cold weather doesn't just affect road conditions, but fuel economy as well. According to the U.S Department... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and border security (all times local): 2:33 p.m. President... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:43:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON (AP) — The parents of two suburban Kansas City victims of a Lake of the Ozarks boat crash have... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:14:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Agencies across mid-Missouri are responding to snowfall. Updates appear here in reverse chronological order, with the newest... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 12:20:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 28°
6pm 32°
7pm 31°
8pm 31°
9pm 30°