FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler
Date: April 9, 2002
ATTORNEY GENERAL BRADY MEETS WITH BISHOP SALTARELLI
The Attorney General met today with the Bishop Michael Saltarelli to discuss the allegations of abuse by diocesan priests and procedures for assuring cooperation in the future. The Attorney General issued the following statement after the meeting.
"Any incident of abuse is too many, but so far as we have been able to discover, the problems in Delaware have not been of the magnitude reported elsewhere. The Bishop and I are both committed to the protection of children, the appropriate handling of these cases through legal channels and diocesan policy, and the adherence to Delaware laws concerning child abuse allegations.
We reviewed all the allegations that had been reported to the Diocese against priests who were not deceased and which occurred in Delaware. There were five such individuals, none of whom are presently performing priestly duties. In addition, we shared the information we had received through calls, letters and email from the public. Each of us will respectively act, as appropriate, on the information we shared.
The Attorney General's office has received complaints against a total of six priests from individuals who had been victims or were family members of victims. Most incidents occurred before July, 1987 and therefore, prosecution is banned by the statute of limitations. Those matters where prosecution may be possible are being referred to the appropriate police agency for investigation.
We are also working with the Diocese to assure their procedures comply with the Child Abuse Reporting law, and we familiarized them with the Children's Advocacy Center, and its role and purpose. I have confidence we will have the full cooperation of the Diocese as we move forward."
The Attorney General encourages anyone who has been the victim of abuse, regardless of when it occurred, to contact her office. Even if criminal prosecution is not possible, referrals can be made to counseling and other services.
The Attorney General's office can be reached at (302) 577-8500 in Wilmington, at (302) 739-4211 in Dover and at
(302) 856-5353 in Georgetown.