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Committee investigating priest sex abuse finishing report

August 6, 2019

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The seven members of a committee investigating allegations of sexual abuse against Roman Catholic priests in Vermont say they expect to send a final draft of their report to the diocese by the end of the week.

Bishop Christopher Coyne, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, commissioned the report into conduct by priests after the Vermont attorney general’s office launched its own investigation of allegations of physical, mental and sexual abuse and a death at the now-shuttered St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington and amid mounting pressure on the church to respond to sexual abuse claims.

The diocese says it expects to release the report by an independent committee to the public by the end of the month.

“The seven members have been left to do their work with no interference,” said a statement from the committee released Monday. “Transparency was promised and received.”

The committee included one abuse survivor and one non-Catholic.

Once it’s completed the diocese has promised to release the full report without making any changes.

The investigation by the attorney general’s office is ongoing.

Over the years the Burlington diocese has settled about 50 abuse cases, paying more than $31 million to victims.

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This story has been corrected to show that the investigation is looking into a death, not deaths.

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