September 06, 2018

New York and New Jersey launched new investigations into the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of clergy sex abuse allegations Thursday as the number of similar inquiries around the country continues to grow.

In New York, the state’s attorney general issued subpoenas to all eight of the state’s Catholic dioceses seeking any and all documents pertaining to allegations, findings from internal church investigations and payments to victims, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly.

Church leaders confirmed receipt of the subpoenas and vowed to work with Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s civil investigation — as well as any potential criminal investigations to come. The subpoenas were issued to the Archdiocese of New York in New York City as well as the dioceses of Albany, Brooklyn, Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Ogdensburg and Rockville Centre.

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Florida attorney Michael Dolce is an expert on abuse cases and successfully pushed lawmakers in his state to relax the statute of limitations on civil and criminal child sex abuse allegations. He summed up Underwood’s decision to subpoena the state’s dioceses as “huge and welcomed.” Dolce, of the firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, is also abuse survivor.

“It shows a determination to see if what happened in Pennsylvania also happened in New York,” he said. “I shudder to think about what they will find.”

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