Missouri victims seek wide-scale clergy abuse investigation

Missouri victims seek wide-scale clergy abuse investigation

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Victims of clergy sexual abuse are calling for a wide-scale investigation of sex crime allegations against Catholic priests in Missouri, and whether the church participated in a cover-up.

A victim of clergy abuse, a woman whose son committed suicide after being abused as a teenager, and an attorney for victims spoke Wednesday outside the St. Louis office of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. They called for a grand jury investigation similar to one in Pennsylvania that uncovered more than 1,000 cases of abuse.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, a longtime victims' rights advocate who was abused as a child, says more than 170 priests in Missouri have been accused in recent decades.

Hawley's office has said it doesn't have jurisdiction to launch an investigation, but the victims' advocates disagree.

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