OLATHE – Members of an organization dedicated to exposing sexual abuse by religious leaders on Friday urged the Kansas attorney general to voluntarily release a 350-page report of the KBI’s four-year investigation into allegations of misconduct by Catholic priests in the state.
David Clohessy, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Attorney General Kris Kobach could do what his predecessor, Derek Schmidt, refused to do. On Schmidt’s last full day in office, he released a 21-page summary of the KBI’s investigation. He did not release a report that showed the wrongdoing of the pastors and referred the cases to prosecutors but did not end up filing charges because of the expiration of the statute of limitations.
The summary did not identify perpetrators or victims, but the KBI said a review of thousands of documents and interviews with 140 victims led law enforcement officials to 188 Kansas was suspected of rape, indecent liberties with a child and other crimes. Thirty cases were assigned to lawyers, but the statute of limitations prohibited travel in those cases.
“We at SNAP are very disappointed, to say the least, in the recent summary provided by the former Kansas attorney general,” Cloehessy said. “We believe, quite rightly, that there are many dangerous women who abuse ministers that the current attorney general knows about.”
He said SNAP will submit a Kansas Open Records Act request to Kobach in hopes of obtaining the lengthy document detailing the results of the Catholic clergy investigation.
John Milburn, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Kobach’s staff was “reviewing the work done” under Schmidt and retired KBI director Kirk Thompson.
“It’s very important to get that information because we don’t know if there are volunteers volunteering in our libraries or our schools or just another job somewhere else,” Sen said. . Cindy Holscher, an Olathe Democrat, at the news conference.
Nebraska’s attorney general released a 182-page report that cited 57 alleged Catholic clergymen, although none were charged. In 2019, the Missouri Attorney General released a 329-page report naming 173 Catholic priests accused of abuse. That same year, the Colorado attorney general published a 241-page report that named 41 Catholic priests who were accused of violence.
Some reports in other states blacked out the names of the accused – no one was named as the accused – and featured detailed descriptions of what the victims alleged as well as recommendations for legal action.
Individuals who spoke at a press conference near the Johnson County Courthouse, including those accused of abuse by people not affiliated with the Catholic Church, said they supported the effort in Kansas. Legislature to remove the statute of limitations related to crimes or between people related to abuse of clergy.
Rep. Jeff Underhill, a Junction City Republican, said a bill designed to roll back the 1994 statute of limitations on homosexuality lawsuits could be introduced next week in Topeka. He said it won’t do everything some advocates want, but “it’s definitely a good start.”
Retired athlete Terin Humphrey, an Olympic silver medalist and 11-time All American, said she was abused when she was 15 years old. It makes sense to amend the Kansas law, he said.
“Our children deserve and deserve a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “I owe it to my children to protect them.”