Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued a letter offering his office’s assistance to all district and county attorneys in Texas as they prepare to investigate cases involving clergymen accused of sexually abusing children. On Thursday, the 15 Texas Catholic Dioceses publicly identified nearly 300 priests against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse have been made.
“My office stands ready to provide whatever assistance local investigators and prosecutors may need in accordance with state law. I am committed to helping provide safe communities for Texas children and communities of faith alike.” Attorney General Paxton said. “Protecting the most vulnerable among us, especially our children, is our top priority. No one should live in fear of abuse, especially when they believe they are in the hands of their church family.”
Under the state constitution, Texas law grants original criminal jurisdiction over these cases to local district and county attorneys. However, local attorneys may request assistance from the Office of the Attorney General in both the investigation and prosecution stages of criminal cases.