A New Jersey lawmaker wants the state Attorney General to empanel a grand jury to investigate sexual misconduct in New Jersey's catholic dioceses.
Senator Joe Vitale is making that request after a Pennsylvania grand jury reported that 300 priests sexually abused more than a thousand children over more than 60 years.
“Some of the priests that were mentioned in the Pennsylvania grand jury report were transferred to New Jersey where they continue to be part of the institution and have access to children.”
Vitale says he’ll introduce legislation that would permit the names of those credibly accused of sexual abuse to be released.
“In New Jersey the way the current law is written all those names would have to be redacted. The abuse would be still be public, what happened, when it happened, how many times it happened, to whom it happened. But not who did it, and that has to change.”
Vitale also wants the two-year statute of limitations for child sex abuse expanded so victims have more time to bring their claims.
“Their lives have been changed since the day they were raped, and they’ve never improved. It’s a crime against humanity. It is awful. I don’t know why there’s any reluctance from anyone to move on this legislation and to find justice for these victims.”
The Attorney General’s office says it's reviewing Pennsylvania's grand jury report to determine what additional actions are appropriate in New Jersey.