16 Catholic Priests Have Been Reported For Abuse In Utah Since 1990

Sep 17, 2018
Originally published on September 17, 2018 3:13 pm
 

The head of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has released a public report that details sexual abuse allegations involving Utah priests and nearly three dozen victims since 1990.

Like many Catholic Church leaders, Bishop Oscar Solis has publicly voiced his disgust following last month’s grand jury report in Pennsylvania that documented abuse at the hands of 300 priests. But in the release of his report this week, Solis took it a step further by detailing sexual abuse within Utah’s Catholic Church over the past 28 years.

Approximately 34 victims have allegedly been abused by 16 priests since 1990, according to the report. Two of those allegations, involving priests Jorge Martinez-Gomez and David Gaeta , came this year. Both are currently on leave from their respective Utah County parishes as the cases are being investigated.

Bishop Solis wrote, “On behalf of all my brother priests, and myself, I beg your forgiveness for their sins and failings.”

Judy Larson of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Utah, said she’s glad to see Bishop Solis respond in this way, but that it’s probably too early for forgiveness.

“People are not going to accept platitudes,” Larson said. “They want to see some real action. Some real change.”

The report did include a renewed commitment to reporting abuse to both “the Department of Child and Family Services as well as to a law enforcement agency or police.”

Larson said that’s a good first step, but she wants even greater transparency moving forward, including names of the priests and their parishes. While the number may be shocking to some, 16 seems too low of a number, Larson said.

“These aren’t ecclesiastical issues,” she said. “These are criminal issues.”

Like many Catholic Church leaders, Bishop Oscar Solis has publicly voiced his disgust following last month’s grand jury report in Pennsylvania that documented abuse at the hands of 300 priests. But in the release of his report this week, Solis took it a step further by detailing sexual abuse within Utah’s Catholic Church over the past 28 years.

Approximately 34 victims have allegedly been abused by 16 priests since 1990, according to the report. Two of those allegations, involving priests Jorge Martinez-Gomez and David Gaeta, came this year. Both are currently on leave from their respective Utah County parishes as the cases are being investigated.

Bishop Solis wrote, “On behalf of all my brother priests, and myself, I beg your forgiveness for their sins and failings.”

Judy Larson of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Utah, said she’s glad to see Bishop Solis respond in this way, but that it’s probably too early for forgiveness.

“People are not going to accept platitudes,” Larson said. “They want to see some real action. Some real change.”

The report did include a renewed commitment to reporting abuse to both “the Department of Child and Family Services as well as to a law enforcement agency or police.”

Larson said that’s a good first step, but she wants even greater transparency moving forward, including names of the priests and their parishes. While the number may be shocking to some, 16 seems too low of a number, Larson said.

“These aren’t ecclesiastical issues,” she said. “These are criminal issues.”

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