PENNSYLVANIA: Justice Department Opens Its Own Probe Into Catholic Church’s Sexual Abuse Scandal

The Washington Post reports:

The Justice Department has launched an investigation into alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania, according to a person familiar with the matter. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Philadelphia began issuing subpoenas recently, the person said.

The investigation was sparked after a state grand jury issued a scathing report in August finding that more than 300 Catholic priests in the state had sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up.

Right wing sites for months have claimed that the DOJ is considering RICO charges against the Catholic Church. This time, they may be right.

Penn Live reports:

The RICO statute features a slew of onerous and difficult requirements, most narrowly defined.

For instance, the government must prove the defendant is an enterprise and one that is engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity, including: illegal gambling, bribery, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, counterfeiting, embezzlement, drug trafficking, slavery, among other crimes.

Prosecutors would have to prove that the church directly invested in, maintained an interest in, or participated in the criminal behavior affecting interstate, even foreign commerce. In other words, that it covered the crimes up.