(Jan. 30, 2020) — The FBI announced today that it seeks child sex abuse victims as part of an ongoing investigation into clergy abuse in north Texas. The FBI notice reads:
“The FBI is seeking to identify victims who were persuaded or coerced into a sexual act by a member of the clergy in the North Texas region between 1985 and the present. If you believe you are a victim, please complete the below confidential online questionnaire.
Your responses are voluntary. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.”
No Restrictions on Reports
The FBI also notes that its investigation is not restricted by any tradition of religious faith, such as the Catholic church. The FBI encourages survivors of clergy sex abuse from any church who fit this profile to share their information with the agency. It is also open to hearing from people who were abused as children or as adults.
Anyone who fits this profile and can assist with the investigation can fill out the FBI online form here. If you are not a victim but have information to share related to this investigation, you may call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuits
The FBI is a law enforcement agency which pursues individuals for criminal violations. Anyone wishing to pursue a civil action for sexual abuse against a clergy member, church, or organization should contact a clergy abuse lawsuit attorney. Clergy abuse lawsuits began to reappear in courts across the country after the publication of a shocking Pennsylvania grand jury report in August 2018. A two-year investigation by that jury found that at least 300 priests had sexually abused more than 1,000 minors in the Philadelphia and some surrounding dioceses. The jury said the actual numbers of priests and those they abused were likely much larger.
States change Laws to Help Victims
Since that time, several U.S. states have changed their statutes of limitations laws in order to allow those who had failed to file an abuse case in time another chance at justice. Those states which have extended statutes of limitations for clergy sex abuse cases include: