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What Feds Want to Find in Clergy Abuse Cases

Georgetown sexual abuse lawyers discuss the evidence feds look for in a clergy abuse case.In another investigation into the Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania, the FBI is collecting specific evidence to prove that Catholic clergy committed sexual crimes against children.

The investigation included recovering documentation, files, and testimony to prove that clergy:

  • Took children across state lines for illicit purposes
  • Physically threatened and abused victims to stop them from contacting police
  • Used money, gifts, and trips to gain victim compliance
  • Sent sexual images and messages electronically
  • The church reassigned those suspected of clergy abuse

Common Child Lures

Although the above investigation is not the first time the Catholic church has been in hot water, perpetrators of sexual abuse of children are not confined to religious figures. In fact, clergy is just one of the many occupations that fits a child predator’s profile; but child abuse can be committed by anyone in any occupation.

The truth is, at least 90 percent of all sexually abused children are abused by someone they know and trust, and oftentimes it is another family member.

There are 16 identified child lures that are used by child predators. Child lures are certain behaviors and situations that allow a predator to appear trustworthy to both the child and the child’s family.

The following is a list of several such lures that were discovered to be part of the Catholic dioceses’ systematic clergy abuse:

  • Bribery Lure: Gifts to coerce engagement in the illicit behavior, or as reward for keeping quiet
  • Threat Lure: Violence or intimidation to keep quiet
  • Online & Electronic Communication Lure: Sexual predators can communicate with their victims covertly online or via text
  • Pornography Lure: Pedophiles often use pornography to appeal to a child’s curiosity
  • Authority Lure: Using social status and power to gain trust and then exploit children
  • Affection Lure: Befriending a child, especially when a parent may be physically or emotionally absent from the child’s life

How Can We Protect Our Children?

As parents, it is not something we like to think about. But sexual predators are out there, and the research indicates they are often someone we know. The first step to protecting our children is to trust gut feelings about others, and not allowing a child to be alone with anyone who seems “off”.

Additionally, educating children about the common child lures can provide children with the resources they need to protect themselves when parents cannot be there.

Here are some important topics to discuss with children:

  • Bathing suit zone: Teach children that this area is private and off limits to others.
  • The boss of your body: No one has a right to touch, photograph, or look at parts of their body.
  • No secrets: Assure children that all secrets should be told, and they will be protected from further harm when they do so.
  • Family Emergency Plan: Inform children that a stranger will never be asked to pick them up for any reason. Children should ignore a stranger with this claim, and families should have a well-rehearsed plan to handle real emergencies.

Georgetown Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Advocate for Survivors of Clergy Abuse

If you or your child are suffering from the aftermath of sexual abuse, empower yourself, and begin the healing process today by contacting a Georgetown sexual abuse lawyer at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Our dedicated lawyers can offer compassionate, discrete guidance, while holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Call 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for a free initial consultation. From our offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware we represent clients in Dover, Newcastle County, Sussex County, and throughout the state.