No mandatory sex abuse reporting in Canada?
Corner Brook and Labrador Bishop Douglas Crosby says an adult victim of sexual abuse by a priest should tell the RCMP about his allegations, and it’s not up to church authorities to report possible crimes:
“I think we always take our lead from him. He’s old enough to do that if he wants to,” Crosby said of the victims in comments to The Western Star newspaper.
The Mounties beg to differ:
Sgt. Jacques Morneau of the Deer Lake RCMP confirmed the police have not been contacted by church officials concerning the allegations. He said anything involving criminal offences should be reported.
“Unless we get a complaint, we can’t investigate,” Morneau said.
“That’s strange that they haven’t notified anybody yet, if it’s serious enough that they have to remove (someone) from the position. I can’t see them wanting to deal with this internally.”
Morneau offered reserved comment since details have not been disclosed to the RCMP.
“I don’t think they should leave it up to the complainant to come to us,” he said. “If they’re aware that a member of their organization has committed a criminal offence, (it) should be reported.”
Do mandatory reporting laws only apply when the alleged victims are still minors? Is the bishop exploiting a loophole here? Or is this somehow SOP?