Floridians can report past sex abuse by Catholic priests via new tip site
Victims' information will be kept confidential
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida has launched a statewide criminal investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests and is asking past victims to share information with legal authorities.
Attorney General Pam Bondi said Thursday that at least 15 victims of abuse have already come forward to state authorities. Bondi said her office has already talked to the seven bishops who oversee Roman Catholic dioceses in the state. She also said that authorities are preparing to issue subpoenas in the case.
“Any priest that would exploit a position of power and trust to abuse a child is a disgrace to the church and a threat to society,” Bondi said. “I am calling on victims and anyone with information about potential abuse to please report it to my office.”
The investigation comes in the wake of a Pennsylvania grand jury said more than 1,000 children have been molested there since the 1940s.
Bondi's office has set up a website that will allow people to report incidents of past sexual abuse. Bondi stressed that if someone is being abused currently they need to call 911 or the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.
Victims of past abuse who report tips at MyFloridaLegal.com/StopAbuse will have their information kept confidential.
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