– Feds subpoena Pennsylvania dioceses in Catholic clergy sex abuse investigation
– A Wave of Child Sexual Abuse Accusations Against a Doctor, and Hospital Says It Knew
Feds subpoena Pennsylvania dioceses in Catholic clergy sex abuse investigation
CBS/AP October 18, 2018
PHILADELPHIA — The Justice Department has issued subpoenas to at least seven of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania as part of a federal probe into child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church. The Associated Press, citing two people familiar with the investigation who were not authorized to speak publicly, reports the subpoenas are seeking a trove of sensitive files and testimony from church leaders.
The intervention by the federal government opens a new front of legal peril for the Catholic Church, given that investigations into sexual abuse by clergy members have historically been handled exclusively by state and local authorities.
According to the people who spoke to the AP, U.S. Attorney William McSwain of Philadelphia, who issued the federal subpoenas last week, wants to know if priests, bishops, seminarians or others committed any federal crimes. McSwain was appointed by President Trump earlier this year.
He has asked for certain church leaders to testify before a federal grand jury in Philadelphia, though it could be months before that happens because of the time it takes to review the requested documents.
McSwain has also demanded the bishops turn over any evidence that anyone in their ranks took children across state lines for illicit purposes; sent sexual images or messages via phone or computer; instructed anyone not to contact police; reassigned suspected predators; or used money or other assets as part of the scandal.
The grand jury subpoenas also seek documents stored in “Secret Archives,” ”Historical Archives” or “Confidential Files,” and records related to the dioceses’ organizational charts, finances, insurance coverage, clergy assignments and treatment of priests, according to the AP’s sources.
While the subpoenas hint at possible charges of sexual exploitation of minors and fraud, legal experts said that if federal prosecutors can show that church leaders systematically covered up for child-molesting priests in the past five years, dioceses could also be charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, the law originally passed to bring down the Mafia.
A representative for McSwain declined to comment to the AP, as did a Justice Department spokeswoman. The Vatican did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There was no indication the Justice Department is planning a nationwide investigation.
“This is the first time I have ever heard of a federal investigation into child sexual abuse in a Catholic diocese or church. This is a monumental moment for clergy sexual victims everywhere,” Mitchell Garabedian, the Boston-based plaintiffs’ lawyer who played a major role in uncovering the scandal in the Boston Archdiocese over a decade ago….
A Wave of Child Sexual Abuse Accusations Against a Doctor, and Hospital Says It Knew By Christina Goldbaum Oct. 18, 2018
For almost 30 years, parents sought out Dr. Reginald Archibald when their children would not grow. They came to his clinic at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a prominent New York research institution, where he treated and studied children who were small for their age.
He also may have sexually abused many of them.
The hospital sent a letter last month to former patients of Dr. Archibald asking about their contact with him. Ten days later, on Oct. 5, it posted a statement online saying it had evidence of the doctor’s “inappropriate” behavior with some patients and that it first had learned of credible allegations against him in 2004. The letter went out to as many as 1,000 people, said a former patient who spoke with a hospital administrator….
The New York Times spoke with 17 people, most of them men, who said they were abused by Dr. Archibald when they were young boys or adolescents. Most of them learned of the possibility of other victims for the first time when they received the letter. A few, however, said they had filed complaints with the hospital or authorities in the past, but their allegations were not investigated….