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Clergy sexual abuse investigations: Exploring the roles of law enforcement agencies across the state

Clergy sexual abuse investigations: Exploring the roles of law enforcement agencies across the state

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Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse are calling for police search warrants and a grand jury investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the wake of revelations that it protected priests who had sexually abused minors.

As police investigate allegations as they arise, a look at agencies across state and local jurisdictions: What's their role? What tools are available to them? What are they saying about the situation?

More at MPRNews.org: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/12/15/catholic-church/county-attorney-grand-jury-not-likely-option-in-archdiocese-investigation
Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse are calling for police search warrants and a grand jury investigation into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the wake of revelations that it protected priests who had sexually abused minors.

As police investigate allegations as they arise, a look at agencies across state and local jurisdictions: What's their role? What tools are available to them? What are they saying about the situation?

More at MPRNews.org: http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/12/15/catholic-church/county-attorney-grand-jury-not-likely-option-in-archdiocese-investigation

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Categories:Presentations
Published by: Minnesota Public Radio on Dec 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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POLICE DEPARTMENTS
"IF THE INVESTIGATION TAKES US INTHAT DIRECTION, WE'LL GO IN THATDIRECTION."
HOWIE PADILLA, ST. PAUL POLICE SPOKESMAN,ON WHETHER INVESTIGATORS WILL SEEK ASEARCH WARRANT FOR THE ARCHDIOCESEWhat they're doing
After a series of MPR News investigations into the Twin Cities archdiocese'shandling of clergy sexual abuse, the St. Paul Police Department made a public pleain October for victims to come forward. Cmdr. Mary Nash says police have gotten a"trickle" of responses.In the meantime, St. Paul Police have open investigations into the archdiocese,priests who they have not named and the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, to determine if hewas in possession of child pornography.
"YOU RISE EACH DAY WITH COURAGE TOSURVIVE KNOWING YOUR FAITH HASBEEN TESTED BEYOND ALL BELIEF."
CMDR. MARY NASH, ST. PAUL POLICEDEPARTMENT, IN A PLEA TO ABUSE VICTIMSThe tools they can use
Police often use search warrants as a tool for gathering evidence in criminalinvestigations. A search warrant is issued by a judge at the request of aninvestigating police officer. The officer must demonstrate probable cause --generally speaking, provide a reasonable amount of information to indicate thatevidence of a crime would be found if a search were to happen -- to justify therequest for the search. In addition to search warrants, which are typically executed without alerting theparties to be searched ahead of time, police investigators can take statementsfrom victims, witnesses, suspects and others and have access to crime lab andother scientific evaluative resources. When police believe there is sufficientevidence to move forward -- as they did in the case of the Rev. Mark Huberty, whowas investigated by the Maplewood Police Department for sexual misconduct --they present their case to the county attorney.
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MPR News | mprnews.org
 
 
COUNTY ATTORNEYS
"IT'S A HUGE, HUGE DECISION. AND WEHAVE TO BE MINDFUL AND CAREFUL ABOUT HOW WE EXERCISE THATPOWER."
RAMSEY CO. ATTORNEY JOHN CHOIWhat they're doing
Ramsey Co. Attorney John Choi says he has encouraged St. Paul police to makethe case a priority. But he has not called an investigative grand jury and will likelywait to take any action until the police present him with a case. Hennepin Co. Attorney Mike Freeman filed criminal sexual misconduct chargesagainst the Rev. Mark Huberty. Freeman is handling the case because Ramsey Co.Attorney John Choi cited a conflict of interest in the matter. Choi told MPR Newsthat he went to school with Huberty.
"IT'S KIND OF A MYTH THAT THE GRANDJURY HAS ALL THESE MYSTICAL POWERS, AND CAN SEND OUT THESETENTACLES AND DO ALL OF THESESIGNIFICANT THINGS."
HENNEPIN CO. ATTORNEY MIKE FREEMANThe tools they can use
County attorneys have the power to impanel an investigative grand jury. The grand jury could be used to subpoena witnesses and documents as part of itsinvestigation, but that’s not how it’s traditionally used in Minnesota. Grand jury proceedings here typically are not used to investigate allegations, butrather to decide whether to indict someone after a police investigation hasconcluded.
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