Today, crime victims have won a great victory and struck a blow for truth and justice. For years, victims of child sex assault and the ensuing cover-up by employees of the Archdiocese of Baltimore have courageously battled the church, the government, and their own demons to exact this investigation and its report.
In 2017, the victims of child sexual assault started pressuring the Maryland Attorney General to investigate the systemic sex abuse and cover-up by the Archdiocese. It took the Office of the Attorney General four years to investigate and produce a report documenting over 600 victims of abuse. There are over 180 sex abusers named in the report and evidence of a deliberate organized cover-up by others in the Archdiocese. The report is not an attack on Catholicism, far from it. It is an attack on the lowest form of criminals who would use their positions of authority in the church to satisfy their sexual perversions at the expense of innocent children. The report is also about their vile accomplices who aided and abetted them by concealing the abhorrent sexual abuse of innocent Catholic children. Those who feel as if this effort is an attack on Catholicism should remember that 100% of the 600 plus child victims revealed were good practicing Catholic children.
This report indicates that evidence was obtained implicating at least thirteen employees of the church still living, yet the investigators only report the indictment of one perpetrator. Why? This is a serious concern, and may represent a grave injustice. From the inception of the investigation, our victim-survivor clients made clear to the Attorney General that while the report would have great value, it was more important to indict those accused. Despite being assured that indictments were a top priority of the investigation, only one has been indicted. Why? The focus of this investigation should have been pursuing the guilty. Unfortunately, that appears not to have been the case.
We need answers as to why it appears that the system is yet again failing to punish the guilty and leaving justice unserved and wanting. We at Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center are so hopeful that new Attorney General Anthony Brown will intervene to change the culture of the attorney general’s office to ensure that these courageous victim-survivors begin to be treated with dignity and respect, instead of treating them as a necessary piece of evidence in the investigatory process. The indignity of their treatment reached a zenith when it was revealed that, while the victims were kept in the dark about the investigation report, the targets of the investigation, including the Archdiocese (which the Attorney General accuses of serious wrongdoing) were freely handed a copy of the report even before the AG office asked the Court for permission to disclose the information.
Regarding the victim-survivor clients of MCVRC, MCVRC will continue to push for the names of perpetrators, especially those 13 who the Attorney General identified as still living, whose names are currently being protected. MCVRC will seek indictments of any child sex abusers living, and indictments of any who concealed or enabled criminal predatory acts on Maryland’s youth. Many of these victim-survivors have been robbed of their childhood, some died by suicide, and most face lives forever corrupted by the damage done to them at the hands of sexual predators. MCVRC is not in a position to guarantee delivery of a fair and just resolution for the crimes committed against them, but we intend to try. We hope to have the cooperation and leadership of Maryland’s prosecutors in that endeavor.
We know that the release of this information will bring a flood of emotions to those who were victims. As we have done for the past forty-one years, we want to help. Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center is the largest survivor organization of its kind in the entire country. We stand ready to help all crime victims in their time of need. We are acutely aware of the needs of those who were victims of sexual assault as children. We know that the release of this report will be a trigger to many, and also an inspiration to many to come forward. If you need assistance, we would be honored to help. Reach out to us, and we will reach out for you. All our assistance is free of charge to victims.
We are proud to have been the trusted voice for Maryland’s crime victims and survivors for forty-one years.
The Full AG Report can be found here