The Cheyenne Police Department is seeking information from any victims or witnesses of sex abuse crimes related to any church official.
It comes after a release from the Roman Catholic Diocese in Cheyenne with new information found in a sex abuse case involving Bishop-Emeritus Joseph Hart between the 1970s through the 1990s. The department has since re-opened that case which has been closed for 16 years.
The announcement comes just a week after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a report accusing 300 priests of sexually abusing over 1,000 victims across the state.
Spokesman officer Kevin Malatesta said this has nothing to do with the Pennsylvania case but it does speak to the nature of what is going on around the country.
“Things are investigated in different ways in this era and again that's something we want to reiterate,” he said. “If someone reported to law enforcement or to the church and they felt like it wasn’t taken seriously or it wasn't investigated at the time, we will investigate it, we will look into that.”
Malatesta said it’s a little unusual for the police department to reach out like this but it wants to make sure that the department doesn’t overlook any potential victims or witnesses.
“With the statute of limitation in Wyoming, that we don't have a statute of limitation that allows us to prosecute something like this that took place maybe 40 years,” he said. “And in other areas, they simply don't have the capability.”
The police haven’t released a specific person it is investigating. The department is asking for reports from the public to be handed in by September 21.