NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Top prosecutors in New York and New Jersey are launching an investigation to look into the national church sex abuse scandal.
This comes in the wake of a scathing grand jury report detailing at least 1,000 cases of sexual abuse of children by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, the New York attorney general issued subpoenas as part of the ongoing civil investigation into how the Catholic church handled allegations of sex abuse by priests and potentially covered them up.
The subpoenas issued to the state’s eight Catholic dioceses request all documents relating to sex abuse allegations, including victim payoffs and findings from internal church investigations.
After the subpoenas were announced Thursday, a spokesperson for the New York Archdiocese vowed to fully cooperate with the civil investigations and any possible criminal investigations to come, adding that since 2002, the archdiocese has “shared with its 10 District Attorneys all information they have sought concerning allegations of sexual abuse of minors.”
Following the Pennsylvania report, Cardinal Timothy Dolan spoke with CBS2 urging transparency.
“I really worry about a loss to credibility, a loss of trust. There’s no use denying it. I don’t. We can’t sugarcoat this. This is disastrous,” he told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.
Meanwhile in New Jersey, the attorney general has announced a new task force to look into abuse allegations in the state. The investigation will be headed by an experienced sex crimes prosecutor.
Hotlines have also been set up in both states for people to come forward with allegations of abuse within the church.