AG announces investigation into Catholic Church’s handling of child sex abuse allegations

Friday, May 10, 2024

Attorney General Bob Ferguson with staff and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy
Photo courtesy State of Washington

The State Attorney General is taking legal action against the Seattle Archdiocese, as part of the investigation into whether the three Washington dioceses of the Catholic Church used charitable funds to cover up allegations of child sex abuse by clergy.

The Attorney General’s Office sent subpoenas to the Seattle Archdiocese, the Diocese of Spokane and the Diocese of Yakima. 

The Seattle Archdiocese refused to cooperate. Consequently, Ferguson filed a petition to enforce the subpoena in King County Superior Court. The office is asking the court to hear the petition on May 22. 

The Attorney General’s Office has a longstanding policy that it does not comment on investigations, including confirming whether they exist. Because the Seattle Archdiocese refused to comply with the office’s subpoena, the office now must seek a court order to move the investigation forward. This process made the investigation public. 

“Washingtonians deserve a public accounting of how the Catholic Church handles allegations of child sex abuse, and whether charitable dollars were used to cover it up,” Ferguson said. 
“As a Catholic, I am disappointed the Church refuses to cooperate with our investigation. Our goal is to use every tool we have to reveal the truth, and give a voice to survivors. If you or a loved one have been impacted by clergy abuse, please contact my office.”

More information here


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