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Philadelphia abuse investigator ‘an absolute tiger’

Catholic World News - March 14, 2011

Gina Maisto Smith-- the former sex-crimes prosecutor retained by Cardinal Justin Rigali to investigate cases of alleged clerical sexual abuse cited in a recent grand jury report-- was “an absolute tiger in the courtroom,” according to a local advocate for abused children, and a “tough and strong prosecutor,” according to the city’s former district attorney.

Smith, a mother of five, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that her commitment to “doing the right thing, and speaking the truth, and not turning my back or eye from evil” stems from her Catholic faith. In the weeks since her appointment, Smith has recommended the suspension of 21 others pending further investigation. Citing flimsy evidence, she has also cleared eight priests.

The archdiocese “gave me access to everything,” she said. “They are committed to doing the right thing.”

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