The Catholic Church's Pennsylvania scandal could be headed north.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has launched a civil investigation into the state's Catholic churches, she announced Thursday. To get it started, she's subpoenaed the state's eight dioceses for all their records regarding child sexual abuse allegations, a source tells The Associated Press.
A massive investigation and report into Pennsylvania's Catholic churches exposed over 1,000 abuse allegations against 300 priests last month. It drew apologies from as far up as the Vatican, but also led victims around the world to share their stories and sparked incredible condemnation of the Catholic Church.
Underwood's announcement addressed the Pennsylvania revelations and encouraged New York victims to report their stories even if they happened years ago. And in a telling display of where the investigation might be headed, Underwood reportedly sent subpoenas to the seven Catholic dioceses of New York state and the archdiocese in New York City, per AP. They request abuse allegations, records of churches paying off victims, and anything else that internal church investigations dug up.
Church leaders have said they'll cooperate with Underwood's civil investigation even if it transforms into a criminal one, AP reports. The attorney general's office is also working with local prosecutors, who can launch criminal investigations within their jurisdictions. Kathryn Krawczyk