Nebraska dioceses plan to cooperate with records request
Sep. 06, 2018
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Three Nebraska dioceses will cooperate with the state attorney general's request to review records of allegations and investigations dating back decades, according to diocese representatives.
Attorney General Doug Peterson requested last week that Lincoln, Omaha and Grand Island Roman Catholic bishops provide investigative records since 1978, The Lincoln Journal Star reported . The records request includes reports of alleged sexual exploitation, such as child pornography.
The review comes less than a month after Peterson urged victims of priest sex abuse to file reports with law enforcement , regardless of when the abuse occurred.
Representatives for all three dioceses said their bishops intend to cooperate with the request.
"The truth is good for everyone," Omaha Archbishop George Lucas said in a Wednesday news release . "I see this as a real moment of grace."
The Lincoln Diocese said it also plans to create a hotline and website where reports can be filed anonymously, and will also hire a victim-assistance coordinator to provide support to victims of sex abuse.
Lincoln-area cases will go to the Lancaster County Attorney's Office, which will forward them to police and the sheriff's office, said County Attorney Pat Condon, who noted that his office has received one report so far.
"Then, depending on what any investigation turns up, that will determine whether there will be prosecution through our office," Condon said.
The Lincoln Diocese recently removed three priests over misconduct accusations, including giving alcohol to an altar server, being alone with women despite warnings against such behavior and an allegation of sexual contact with an adult woman. Another priest resigned over an undisclosed allegation stemming from his time in the Nebraska Army National Guard.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com