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Vermont Attorney General to Investigate Catholic Church Abuse

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan will open an investigation into abuse within Vermont’s Catholic Church, including at the St. Joseph’s orphanage.

The announcement comes days after BuzzFeed published a lengthy investigation into horrifying abuses at the Catholic-run facility in Burlington.

“We’ll do an investigation,” Donovan said in an interview Friday. “Certainly it will be about the allegations specifically about St. Joseph’s, but my sense is we will also look at some larger issues involved here.”

He added that he would hold a press conference with other law enforcement officials next week to give further details about the investigation.

“I think we will have more to say Monday morning, but obviously what’s in my mind certainly is the grand jury report from Pennsylvania,” he said.

That report accused 300 Catholic priests across the state of sexually abusing children over seven decades.

“We are concerned about any allegations of abuse,” Donovan added, “any allegations of any sort of cover up is something we will look at.”

Donovan said the task force conducting the investigation will include the Attorney General’s Office, Vermont State Police, the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Burlington Police Department.

Adam Silverman, a Vermont State Police spokesperson, said in an email Friday that the agency “will investigate any complaints received in our area of responsibility and work with any other agencies if they ask for assistance.”

Read more at VT Digger