Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter on Friday 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 released the names of those with credible accusations against them, publicly identifying nearly 300 priests.
The Attorney General released a statement saying “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.”
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.