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Democratic state lawmakers want probe into Milwaukee Archdiocese sex offenses

Church abuse graphic.
Church abuse graphic.

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Nine Democratic state lawmakers have asked the Justice Department to investigate an attorney's claim that eight-thousand sex offenses were committed by people connected with the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese.

At a court hearing last week, Jeff Anderson said up to 100 previously undisclosed offenders committed the crimes.

If it's true, the legislators said it's nothing short of a "public safety crisis." And they said the hiding of the offenses might have resulted in hundreds of other abuses against children as well.

Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck says the agency will review the lawmakers' request.

Anderson made the allegation to a judge investigating compensation claims by over 570 victims of sex abuse by priests. Those claims were made as part of the church's Chapter 11 bankrtupcy reorganization.

Peter Isley of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said he would welcome a Justice Department review.

The lawmakers seeking it are Senators Julie Lassa, Lena Taylor, Bob Jauch, and Jessica King -- and Representatives Sandy Pasch, Chris Taylor, Kelda Helen Roys, Robert Turner, and Terese Berceau.