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There's no mystery to handling sex-abuse cases

October 13, 2005

Re "Archdiocese Says It Didn't Shield Kids From Priests," Oct. 12

I read this appalling article with great interest. The most startling statement was by the church's attorney, J. Michael Hennigan: The documents "show men of good will and intelligence struggling" with how to handle sexual abuse. I have been in law enforcement since 1974 and now serve as a police lieutenant. I know how I was trained as a young officer and continue to train young officers -- suspected sexual abuse is reported to the police and the Department of Children and Family Services. A vigorous investigation is promptly conducted.

If the initial investigation shows the complaint has merit, at-risk children are quickly removed from a location where an abuser has access to them. Finally, child molesters are prosecuted and should go to prison for a long time.

Perhaps the "struggling men of good will" thought that such standards didn't apply to members of the Catholic clergy? What a sad and self-serving statement.

CHRIS KELLER

Covina

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