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Grand jury finds Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania, shielded by bishops, abused hundreds of children

Bishops Joseph Adamec and James Hogan

Bishop Joseph Adamec, left, and Bishop James Hogan (Altoona Mirror)

Last week a Pennsylvania grand jury released a 147-page report documenting hundreds of cases of sexual molestation perpetrated by priests and other religious leaders in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

No prosecutions were recommended, because the cases were too old — mostly from the 1940s through the 1980s, the perpetrators had died, or the victims were too traumatized to testify.

The report accused two bishops — James Hogan and Joseph Adamec — of covering up the crimes. Investigators raided church offices and found boxes and filing cabinets filled with details of children being abused, according to Philly.com.

According to the grand jury report, Bishop Joseph Adamec kept a payout chart for how much cash the church should offer victims to settle cases:

  • Molestation or genital fondling above clothing — $10,000 to $25,000
  • Fondling under clothing — $15,000 to $40,000
  • Oral sex — $25,000 to $75,000
  • Sodomy — $50,000 to $175,000

Some victims did go to the police decades ago. But the church in the area was so powerful that it was able to squash investigations.

The following article contains a copy of the actual grand jury report:

Grand jury: Altoona diocese concealed sex abuse of hundreds of children by priests, on Post-Gazette.com.

More information:

Kane: Altoona-area priests abused hundreds of children, on Philly.com.

Law officers, clergy forged ties stymieing prosecutions, on Philly.com.

 


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