By: Steve Kelly, Principal in G&E’s Civil Rights Practice Multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy in the six dioceses across Illinois reveals abuse of almost 2,000 children by more than 450 Catholic clerics A multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy in Illinois culminated in 2023, when the Illinois Attorney General issued a 700-page report detailing the findings. The investigation, which began in 2018, was focused on obtaining a complete accounting of child sex abuse committed by Catholic clergy members in the state and creating a public report on the substantiated abusers, with an equal goal of advocating for and giving a voice to survivors. Six Catholic dioceses across Illinois were included in the report – the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield. Attorneys and investigators reviewed over 100,000 pages of documents and spent numerous hours interviewing diocesan representatives and members in leadership. The investigative team also worked with many brave survivors in retelling their experiences of abuse, contributing to improvements in diocese policies regarding investigations of child sex abuse allegations, as well as public disclosure of substantiated abusers. The report revealed 451 names of Catholic clergy members in Illinois who abused at least 1,997 children across the state. Prior to the publishing of this monumental report, only 103 substantiated abusers had been publicly exposed by the Catholic dioceses of Illinois. For many survivors of child sex abuse, the time to file a claim against their perpetrators (and often the organizations responsible for covering for the abuser’s transgressions) has long passed. However, states across the country have legislation—or are actively working towards passing it—to re-open a window of time for which survivors can seek justice for what happened to them. States like New York and Maryland have passed laws lifting the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits. G&E and co-counsel represent many of these survivors who have taken action against their perpetrators as well as the institutions protecting the abusers. Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. Takes Child Sexual Abuse Cases Nationwide. We Are Here to Listen to Your Story and Take the Burden Off You. While many survivors of childhood sexual abuse may never seek legal justice, knowing the rights you may have can be a powerful step in the healing process. The Child Victims Act attorneys in Grant & Eisenhofer’s civil rights practice have experiencing advocating for and representing survivors. You are not alone in your journey, and we are here to answer your legal questions through a confidential, free consultation. If you are ready to speak to a compassionate, experienced advocate, contact us today at 855-244-2031.