Former Grand Jury Member Speaks Out About Church Sex Scandal
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 2005 Grand Jury report brings back painful memories for Jerry Corrento.
“It was very hard to go through,” says Corrento. “It just tore at the core of your heart. You felt for these victims so bad.”
Corrento devoted two days a week for two years, listening to testimony. He says he heard from hundreds of victims and listened to 69 priests.
“Listening to priest after priest, coming in there and just denying it, or just pleading the 5th, that angered a lot of us,” remembers Corrento.
But the worst part was knowing no one would be charged because the statue of limitations had run out.
“We couldn’t do anything. We were helpless. All we could do was listen, sympathize and hope,” said Corrento.
Now in the newest Grand Jury report released six years later, Corrento sees the hope he once prayed for.
“I can picture myself sitting there, listening to the same things, but knowing this time, that something can be done about it.”
Already, three priests and a lay teacher face criminal charges of child sex abuse. And Monsignor William Lynn faces charges of allowing the alleged abuse to continue. The church suspended Lynn and the three priests.
But Corrento says it is not enough. He says lawmakers in Harrisburg need to allow victims their day in court.
“If they don’t allow these past victims to sue, and these current victims to get their justice also, then Harrisburg has failed,” he laments.
Corrento says the church will not change on its own. It will take pressure from lawmakers and parishioners to force the church to stop sex abuse for good.
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Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3