On August 23, 2018, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a statement requesting that all who know of abuses by the church in Illinois come forward with information. This was prompted by a Pennsylvania grand jury report that made several references to Illinois.
The report contains allegations and evidence against over 300 “predator priests” in Pennsylvania, and the victims could number in the thousands. Most of the sexual abuse allegations are concerning young boys, although there are some allegations of sexual abuse against girls.
This report details years of abuses by Catholic church officials. Many of these abuses can’t be criminally prosecuted because the statute of limitations has long since passed.
The Grand Jury Report
From the report:
“But we are not satisfied by the charges we can bring, which represents only a percentage of all the child abusers we saw. We are sick over the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated. This report is our only recourse.
“We are going to name their names and describe what they did—both the sex offenders and those who concealed them. We are going to shine a light on their conduct, because that is what their victims deserve.
“And we are going to make our recommendations for how the laws should change so that maybe no one will have to conduct another inquiry like this one.”
Elsewhere in the report were references to priests in Illinois, which prompted AG Madigan to make requests for more information from victims and others who might have information regarding sexual abuse in the church in Illinois.
Meetings and Possible Legal Action
In her statement, Madigan said the following: "The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois.”
Madigan noted that her office had reviewed the Pennsylvania grand jury report. The report identified at least seven “priests with connections to Illinois.” She said she plans to meet with the Chicago Archdiocese.
“I plan to reach out to the other dioceses in Illinois to have the same conversation and expect the bishops will agree and cooperate fully,” Madigan said in the statement. “If not, I will work with states' attorneys and law enforcement throughout Illinois to investigate."
Contact a Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawyer
The AG’s office has set up a hotline so victims and those who know of abuse can report the abuses perpetrated by the church or members of the clergy.
The hotline number is 1-888-414-7678. The AG’s office will have trained personnel ready to take your calls. Messages left on the voicemail will be returned if contact information is provided. For more information, visit the Illinois Attorney General website.
If you’re a victim of sexual abuse and would like to hold your abuser accountable in civil court, contact the experienced Chicago sexual abuse attorneys at Lane & Lane, LLC.
We offer free, confidential case assessments and are available to take your call at this number: 312-332-1400. You can also reach out to us through the secure contact form at the bottom of this page.