KBI refers 30 clergy abuse cases for prosecution

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Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 5:36 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The state’s investigation into alleged child sexual abuse by clergy members identified 188 clergy members suspected of crimes including aggravated criminal sodomy, rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated sexual battery.

Of those, they referred 30 cases to local prosecutors.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt released the report late Friday.

He said he received the KBI’s final report on the investigation launched in November 2018. It centered on internal files and documents from the Catholic dioceses in Kansas, alleging child sexual abuse. The KBI then established an internal task force to conduct its investigation. It included asking the public to report any information or complaints it might have had.

The KBI said its work encompassed looking at more than 40,000 pages of documents. According to the report, task force members spoke with 137 alleged victims, and visited 15 states to meet with victims, witnesses and suspects. The KBI says 125 criminal cases were opened, with many additional reports of sexual abuse documented through a single master case.

They say the 30 cases referred to prosecutors involved 14 different Catholic priests, and many of the allegations were several decades old. In many cases, they say the alleged perpetrator had passed away.

Local prosecutors will consider whether any charges will be filed. The KBI task force report notes, so far, charges have not been filed against any priests named in their affidavits. According to the report, the most common reason from prosecutors for not pursing charges was that the statute of limitations had expired. Other reasons include a lack of victim cooperation, medical issues of the offending priest, or insufficient evidence.

The report notes its finding pertain to the four dioceses in Kansas. They say their investigation into the break-off Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) sect in St. Marys, Kansas is ongoing.

According to the report, since 1960, at least 15 victims of child sexual abuse have taken their own lives.

The report ends by stating it is “dedicated to each of the victims and their families.”

The task force report can be viewed here.