(GoRealNewsNow.com) – Nearly 200 Baltimore Catholic clergy and administrators were identified as sexual predators in a report released by the Maryland Attorney General on Wednesday.
The report, which took four years to complete, details how these religious leaders used their position of power and trust to sexually abuse over 600 children over the past 80 years. The church then covered up this abuse.
The Attorney General, Anthony Brown, stated that the report is a “public accounting of more than 60 years of abuse and cover-up,” highlighting the “depraved, systemic failure of the Archdiocese to protect the most vulnerable.”
The report details credible allegations of child sexual abuse against 199 current or former Catholic clergy, seminarians, deacons, religious order members, Catholic school teachers, and other archdiocese employees.
According to the report, 150 of these named abusers, who were primarily male clergy, committed the crimes while serving or living in the archdiocese, while the others committed the crimes in other jurisdictions but had lived or worked in the archdiocese at some point in their careers.
The report also details how the archdiocese covered up the pattern of abuse and protected the perpetrators.
One example of an abuser is the Rev. Laurence Brett, who admitted to sexually abusing a teenager at a Catholic university in Connecticut in 1964. He was then moved to other locations, where he abused other teen boys.
He was eventually assigned to Baltimore and served as chaplain at a Catholic high school for boys. However, he was allowed to resign in 1973 after several students accused him of abuse. Despite this, the school officials never reported the abuse, and he died in 2010 without ever facing charges.
So far, only one person has been indicted due to the investigation: former Catholic high school wrestling coach Neil Adleberg. He was arrested last year and charged with rape and other counts, but the case remains ongoing.
In response to the report, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori offered his “earnest apology” on behalf of the Archdiocese and promised to continue making the names of the abusers public.
The state legislature also passed a bill to end the statute of limitations on abuse-related civil lawsuits, which is now being considered by Governor Wes Moore, who supports it.