Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has followed the lead of the Attorney General offices in other states by setting up a website for people to report past abuse by Catholic priests, clergy and other religious leaders in Florida. The investigation will be aided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in reviewing the state’s seven Catholic Dioceses. The link to the site can be found here: http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/stopabuse
The website is part of Attorney General Bondi’s investigation of allegations of child sex abuse by priests from seven Catholic Dioceses in Florida: Archdiocese of Miami, Diocese of Palm Beach, Diocese of Orlando, Diocese of Venice, Diocese of St. Petersburg, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, and Diocese of St. Augustine. The Archdiocese of Miami issued a statement that it “welcomes these efforts.” The Diocese of Palm Beach stated it “will fully engage with the Florida Attorney General” and is “pleased” that the Attorney General’s office is undertaking this efforts. The Diocese of St. Augustine said it is “supportive of the investigation and the diocese will cooperate fully throughout the process.” The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee released a statement saying it will “continue to cooperate with the statewide prosecutor in an investigation into the policies and procedures that have long been in place to provide a safe environment and to investigate allegations of misconduct with children.”
Analysis from Adam Horowitz
Adam Horowitz is an attorney for persons who have been sexual abused in Florida by priests and other clergy. He has represented dozens of victims and filed numerous lawsuit on behalf of victims who were sexually abused in Florida. He hailed this announcement by the Florida Attorney General as “a long overdue step in the march toward justice for all clergy sexual abuse victims. It is well understood by now that child sexual abuse can result in a dramatic downward spiral for victims. But when the perpetrator is a trusted member of the clergy, it is a particularly egregious breach of trust. All of the Catholic Dioceses in Florida have had priests who sexually abused children. It is time for all of the Dioceses in Florida to make public a list of all the credibly accused priests.”
To file a tip, visit MyFloridaLegal.com/StopAbuse. All information shared is confidential in accordance with Florida public record laws. Bondi stressed that the site is for reporting past abuse only, not current cases. The site is also not limited to abuse in the Catholic church.
Attorney Adam Horowitz represents children and adults who were victims of sexual abuse by a priest, minister, rabbi or other clergymen in civil lawsuits. If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault at a church or other religious organization, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected]