Rhode Island Attorney General Granted Access To 70 Years of Diocesan Records

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha’s office is investigating ongoing sexual abuse claims by Roman Catholic priests in the state.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha’s office is investigating nearly seven decades of sexual abuse to children by Roman Catholic priests in the diocese of Providence. On Tuesday, the two offices signed a memorandum of understanding, giving Neronha’s office and Rhode Island State Police access to records of allegations dating back to 1950.

Together with State Police, Neronah will review the records to determine if any cases can be prosecuted and to ensure no credibly accused priests are still actively serving. The two agencies will then provide the diocese feedback on ways to improve reporting procedures and policies in the future, as well as to determine how to diocese responded to past allegations of child sexual abuse.

“While this voluntary, additional disclosure by the Diocese is an important step forward in our review, much additional work remains, Neronha said. “We will not hesitate to take any additional steps that may prove necessary to fully determine the scope of misconduct here and take appropriate action. It is my intention to be as transparent as possible regarding our findings, within the limits of current Rhode Island law. I am grateful to Colonel Manni for his commitment to partnering with the Office to undertake and complete this review.”

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