188 clergy suspected of child abuse in Kansas since 1950, AG says

  • A police report in the state of Kansas states that at least 188 members of the clergy are suspected of sexually abusing children since 1950.
  • Attorney General Eric Schmidt ordered the report in 2018.
  • Some victims attributed their drug and alcohol addictions to the abuse they suffered, the report said.

A report released by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation says more than 180 Catholic clergy members are suspected of sexually abusing children in the state’s Catholic diocese since 1950.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt commissioned the report in November 2018 at the request of Kansas City Archdiocese Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

The report says the KBI heard from “many victims” who attributed their current drug or alcohol addiction or incarceration to the sexual abuse they endured as children. Family members of some victims also told investigators they attributed their loved ones’ suicide to the sexual abuse they experienced, according to the report.

“Our agents witnessed men, now in their 60s and 70s, break down in tears when they reported their sexual abuse to our team. In many cases, they had never previously disclosed the sexual abuse to anyone,” it said. the report.

The investigation found that investigations “conducted by the dioceses into previous allegations of sexual abuse were inconsistent and inadequate.” According to the report, church officials often tried to avoid scandals, continued to financially support offending priests or failed to remove or monitor offending priests of concern.

“Unfortunately, there will always be people who sexually abuse children, whether in society or within the church,” the report says. “But it is rightly more serious when a priest, who is in a position of authority in the Church, who vows celibacy, and is held up as a model of holiness, then abuses a child.”

The report states that “the legally allowed time to file criminal charges for most crimes of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has passed.” Statutes of limitations for rape, gross indecent liberties with a child and criminal sodomy were eliminated in 2013, the report said, but the laws still apply to crimes that occurred before they were repealed.

“The KBI reviewed documents, interviewed victims and conducted investigations, and referred 30 cases to local prosecutors for further processing,” says Schmidt in a press release on Friday. “Most of the files reviewed were decades old.”

According to the report, investigators presented 30 affidavits to prosecutors in Kansas and one to prosecutors in Oklahoma related to the report. However, no charges have been brought in any related cases, and several declarations were for victims of the same priest.

“The traumatic and long-lasting impact of sexual assault is unimaginable and probably underestimated by many,” the report says. “It is often unforgivable by those who endured it.”

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