S.R. NO.













urging the Hawaii state department of the attorney general to conduct a statewide investigation of sexual abuse of minors in the state of hawaii by clergy of the roman catholic church.



WHEREAS, the findings in civil and criminal cases and reports across the United States, including in Hawaii, indicate that the Roman Catholic Church engaged in a decades-long pattern of moving clergy who sexually abused children within and between Dioceses, within and between states, and within and between countries, and of hiding, withholding, or otherwise failing to disclose documentation and other evidence of child sexual abuse; and


WHEREAS, a recent Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed the abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests over decades, including at least one priest who was relocated from Pennsylvania to Hawaii and later admitted abusing at least twenty children in the diocese in Erie, Pennsylvania, and then in the diocese in Hawaii; and


WHEREAS, a recent study by two law firms in Hawaii detailed an additional fifty-eight Catholic clergy members who allegedly committed child sexual abuse in Hawaii, including recent allegations; and


WHEREAS, child sexual abuse has severe and devastating physical, emotional, social, and financial consequences for victims, their families, and their communities, which can last throughout a victim's lifetime; and


WHEREAS, Attorneys General and other state authorities across the United States are investigating sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy based on the findings of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, including in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia; and


WHEREAS, there may be cases of child sexual abuse committed by clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii that are within criminal and civil statutes of limitation, which can be tolled under the law in specific circumstances, such as when offenders are not physically present in the State of Hawaii or are incarcerated on other charges; and


WHEREAS, the Roman Catholic Church Diocese of Honolulu, also known formally as the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii, comprises all of the Hawaiian Islands; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, that the Hawaii State Department of the Attorney General is urged to conduct a statewide investigation of sexual abuse of minors in the State of Hawaii by clergy of the Roman Catholic Church; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of the Attorney General is requested to submit a report on the status of its investigation to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Sessions of 2020, 2021, and 2022; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General.



















Report Title:

Keiki Caucus; Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse investigation; Attorney General