Statement from D.A. Andrea Harrington
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington joined district attorneys in Hampden and Northwestern in signing a memorandum of understanding with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield establishing a clear process for reporting and investigating allegations of sexual abuse. In a press release sent to WSBS from the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office, Harrington had the following to say:
“My office is dedicated to holding perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable. This agreement ensures that allegations of abuse in the Diocese are reported and that law enforcement can do a full investigation to gather the evidence our prosecution team needs to secure convictions. This is an overdue commitment from the church after clergy members committed terrible crimes against children for decades and too many victims never received the justice they deserve.”
Harrington went on to say the following:
“Given the history of sexual abuse and cover-ups, law enforcement investigations must not be impeded. I thank my colleagues in Hampden and Northwestern for partnering with us in these discussions with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield to protect victims and the community.”
The memorandum establishes reporting requirements and restricts the Diocese from doing any internal investigations or reviews of cases for the first 90 days without permission from the local district attorney’s office.