State authorities are asking people who believe they have been sexually abused by clergy members in California to come forward with information.
The plea comes after several Roman Catholic dioceses across the state released the names, in some cases for the first time, of priests accused of sexual misconduct.
“In light of the news surrounding the sexual abuse of children by members of clergy or religious organizations across the country, the Department of Justice is gathering information from the public regarding complaints of this nature in California,” state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office said in a statement.
Last month, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose released the names of 15 priests who worked in Santa Clara County and were accused of sexually abusing children. Of them, nine are dead and the rest have been banned from the ministry. Four of the men had been convicted of sex crimes.
The list released by the San Jose Diocese did not describe the cases in detail. The reported allegations occurred from 1961 through the early 2000s.
The San Diego Diocese updated its public list in mid-September. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Orange are reviewing their lists of credibly accused priests — which were last updated in 2008 and 2016, respectively — to see whether any names should be added. The San Bernardino Diocese released the names of 34 priests on Oct. 8.