January 06, 2005

Diocese will give DA abuse reports

Commercial Appeal

By Bill Dries
January 6, 2005

Memphis Catholic officials Wednesday agreed to report all past and future allegations of child sexual abuse by priests and other clergy or employees to authorities for possible criminal investigation.

The agreement came after a 90-minute meeting Downtown between officials of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and the District Attorney General's office.

The closed-door session was arranged by Bishop J. Terry Steib, who did not attend, to talk about why the diocese hasn't reported abuse allegations it has known about for years.

"Any case that is currently known by the diocese is going to be turned over to the district attorney's office," said Father John Geaney, communications adviser for the diocese. That doesn't necessarily mean there will be criminal charges or that the names of the accused priests will be made public if they aren't charged.

Kevin Rardin, chief prosecutor of child sexual abuse cases for the DA's office, expressed optimism after the meeting.

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 07:15 AM