The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office has placed a high priority on protecting children from all kinds of abuse. This includes children who witness violence knowing its harmful effects and long-term consequences. Through our grand jury, we investigated specific allegations against the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in 2011, resulting in an indictment of a church official for failure to protect children by failing to report abuse.

Following the prosecution, the Diocese instituted an ombudsman who regularly communicates with this office regarding potential allegations of abuse.

We welcome this partnership, but rest assured we won’t stand idle when children are victimized. We have reviewed and investigated other allegations of abuse by church officials since 2011. Those cases, however, proved to be beyond our reach for criminal charges because the statute of limitations had passed. Our ethical obligations prevent us from speaking in more detail about who those persons were or the exact nature of the allegations.

Finally, we wish to highlight the current church administration in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. It has been very active in bringing to our attention such allegations. We appreciate their diligent efforts and look forward to a continued partnership.