NY, NJ launch investigations into sex abuse in Catholic Church

September 06, 2018 - 2:02 pm

NEW YORK (AP/1010 WINS) -- New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state as part of her office's investigation into the church's handling of sex abuse allegations, the Associated Press reported, citing a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

The subpoenas went out Thursday and seek documents relating to sexual abuse allegations, financial payments to possible victims or the findings from internal church investigations.
Underwood's office is pursuing a civil investigation into how church leaders responded to reports of abuse.  A church spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about the subpoenas.

And in New Jersey, officials Thursday announced the formation of a task force to investifate allegations of sexual abuse by members of the cleargy within the Roman Catholic dioceses. 

"I was deeply troubled to read the allegations contained in last month's Pennsylvania grand jury report," said New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal. "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." 

The New Jersey task force will conduct a comprehensive review of existing agreements between the Catholic dioceses of New Jersey and state law enforcement.

The Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey says it will cooperate with a new investigation of sex abuse in the church's dioceses.

New Jersey Catholic Conference executive director Patrick Brannigan says the group welcomes the investigation and will "cooperate fully."
The conference represents the state's bishops.

The investigations come after a grand jury in Pennsylvania found widespread abuse of more than 1,000 children by about 300 priests.

The announcements come three weeks after a grand jury investigation found rampant sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by about 300 priests in Pennsylvania.