Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office is being pressed by citizens to investigate clergy sexual abuse, although his office has said it cannot began an examination on its own, KXAN reported.
The TV station’s open records request shows that a dozen people have asked the AG’s office to launch an investigation since Catholic dioceses across the state released lists on Jan. 31, 2019, of priests accused of abuse.
One of the letters to the AG’s office came from 18-year-old Juleanna Culilap. Her AP government teacher encouraged her senior class last spring to write letters to political leaders about issues important to them.
“A lot of other states were taking their own action against it, so why couldn’t Texas?” Culilap wrote in her letter to Paxton.
KXAN previously reported that Paxton’s office said state law prevents its staff from investigating because it lacks primary jurisdiction.
The records obtained by the TV station show that a detective with a North Texas police department called the AG’s office repeatedly to ask for help with local priest abuse cases involving children. The AG’s office told him it could not step in unless the local district attorney’s office requested assistance.
KXAN reported that it has asked consistently throughout the past year if the AG’s office was investigating anything related to clergy sexual abuse and was told the department’s policy was to neither confirm nor deny any such investigations.