Lower House to debate state commission to investigate sexual abuse cases

On Monday or Tuesday, the Lower House of Poland's Parliament is to debate the establishment of a state commission to investigate cases of sexual abuse of minors.

The Lower House Speaker will also announce a date for the appointment of three candidates to the body representing the Lower House.

President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Children's Ombudsman Mikołaj Pawlak have already appointed their representatives to the commission.

Justyna Kotowska of the Court Psychiatry Clinic of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw was appointed by President Duda, while seasoned educator, worker of the healthcare system and former anti-communist activist Elżbieta Malicka was chosen by PM Morawiecki.

As for the Children’s Ombudsman, his decision was to appoint Błażej Kmieciak, a PhD in law studies and sociology of law and a graduate of social rehabilitation studies. He also holds a postdoctoral diploma in medical law and bioethics.

In all, the commission will consist of seven members and will act independently of other government bodies.

To identify negligence and discontinuation of response and prevention

The debate is prompted by Children’s Ombudsman Mikołaj Pawlak and the Justice Ministry’s declarations that a group of experts in the form of a Lower House investigative commission would be established to tackle, among others, the new threads that seem to have not been properly addressed in the investigation regarding the case of Krystian W. (name withheld in line with Polish privacy law).

Also known as “Krystek” and “Teens Hunter”, Krystian W., operating in the coastal Tricity, Puck, Wejherowo and Władysławowo, was accused of a whole range of crimes allegedly committed against 33 young girls. Five of these individuals were below 15 years of age, which puts his actions against them under the paedophilic act category. Only three of the 33 girls were adults.

His activities gained public attention in the wake of Wednesday Poland’s public television TVP’s broadcasting of Sylwester Latkowski’s documentary entitled “Nic się nie stało” (“Nothing happened”).

On May 16, another documentary on sexual abuse of minors was screened in Poland. “Zabawa w chowanego” (“Hide and Seek”) by Sekielski brothers expose sexual abuse and acts of paedophilia committed by Catholic clergy in Poland.

The commission is to report cases of suspected acts of paedophilia to pertinent institutions and to identify negligence and discontinuation on the part of state institutions, NGOs, local authorities and churches with regards to the reaction to and prevention of sexual abuse of minors in Poland.

Moreover, the commission will be entitled to submit offenders’ names to the Registry of Perpetrators of Sexually-Motivated Crimes.

The law on the state commission for the explanation of cases of actions against sexual freedom and sexual morality of minors below 15 years of age entered into force on September 26, 2019.