AG Report Shows Nearly 2,000 Children Abused by Clergy in Illinois

Posted on: July 20, 2023 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

The Illinois attorney general’s office conducted a five-year investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy within the state. The result of the investigation is a 700-page report which shows a staggering number of children were sexually abused by clergy in the state since 1950. Similar to Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse, and the Maryland attorney general’s report into clergy sexual abuse, the Illinois report details just how far the church went to cover-up sexually abusive clergy.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said investigators found, since 1950, nearly 2,000 children had been sexually abused by over 450 Catholic clergy in the state. While some abusers worked in multiple dioceses, the report found 275 sexually abusive clergy worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago, 43 in the Diocese of Belleville, 69 in Joliet, 51 in Peoria, 24 in Rockford and 32 in Springfield. The report also noted that investigators found 149 alleged sexual abusers who went previously undisclosed by the dioceses.

Statements released by the dioceses regarding the AG report all mirror each other. They issued apologies to survivors and said changes have been made to take sexual abuse allegations seriously and will be thoroughly investigated. The Archdiocese of Chicago went so far as to say it offers “care, compassion … and even compensation to all who come forward, regardless of the statute of limitations.” Time will tell if they stand by their words.

In regards to the state’s statute of limitations, in 2014, the state eliminated the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. However, that law is not retroactive, so claims occurring prior to 2014 would be subject to the previous time limits. While it would take a constitutional amendment for time-barred claims to become viable, there may be a narrow avenue for them to be filed. One exception to the law would be if the church fraudulently concealed its involvement in the abuse. Since this report shows the church actively concealed the identities of many abusers, survivors should definitely speak to an attorney to see if they may be able to still file a claim.

The entire article can be viewed here.

Sexual Abuse Lawyer for Illinois Clergy Abuse Victims
If you or a loved one were a victim of sexual abuse within the Illinois Dioceses, contact our firm today. Our law firm handles Illinois sexual abuse lawsuits and can help you understand how long you have to file a clergy abuse claim in the state of Illinois. Call us now at 1-800-941-7209 for a FREE and PRIVATE consultation.