The Hampden County District Attorney’s Office created a new hotline for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Hampden County DA Anthony Gulluni said the new hotline will provide a more effective way for victims to report sexual abuse by clergy members.
Gulluni announced a new clergy sexual abuse hotline Tuesday. He said it will allow victims to report their claims to law enforcement directly, and confidentially.
“We have noted some discrepancies,” Gulluni told 22News. “We think its important for victims law enforcement and criminal justice if victims desire, they should be able to contact law enforcement directly and have a conversation which could inititate an investigation.”
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said they are supporting the new hotline, but they just don’t want its focus to be reporting sexual abuse by clergy members.
“We think this is a church problem but its a societal problem the DAdoesn’tt necessarily want to hear, that but that’s the case, so we think this number should include all victims,” said Mark Dupont, spokesman for the Diocese of Springfield.
As far as the discrepancies reported by the DA, Dupont told 22News they were told to not report cases of sexual abuse in the past if the clergy member had already died.
Dupont also showed 22News multiple letters they sent to both the Hampshire and Hampden District Attorneys in 2011, reporting Richard Koske’s claims of sexual abuse by three clergy members. Dupont said both DA’s offices never received the letters.
Dupont said victims can still call the diocese hotline.