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York County DA: No evidence, reports of child sex abuse claim discovered

YORK — The York County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that any past evidence and/or reports that did not result in prosecution — by its office — or charges by the York City Police Department have been destroyed or purged, in accordance with policy.

The statement coming out of the DA’s Office follows the release of the grand jury report which claimed that in 1995, the Diocese of Harrisburg handed over physical evidence — photo negatives and video cassettes alleging child abuse involving Reverend Herbert Shank — to the DA’s Office and subsequently the city’s police department, but no charges were filed.

“Our agencies determined that any evidence and/or reports forwarded to the York City Police Department were destroyed in accordance with statewide accreditation standards governing investigations where no charges are filed,” District Attorney David Sunday wrote in a statement. “Furthermore, my office does not possess any records concerning subjects of the Attorney General’s Grand Jury report, as any such reports would have been purged in accordance with office record retention policy in matters that are not prosecuted.”

In response to these circumstances, District Attorney Sunday said that the DA’s Office has established an electronic tip line to receive any information concerning clergy abuse in York County or that of referenced in or associated with the grand jury report.