Spotlight Two officers from the police department discuss the arrest in 1976 of Fr. John Geoghan in the Boston Police station. The mother of the child is approached by an senior clergyman. The deputy district attorney arrives at the precinct to warn the officers not to reveal to the media about what transpired. Geoghan is released following his arrest has not been reported to the media.
Marty Baron is the new managing editor of The Boston Globe. He is in contact with Walter Robinson who is the editor of The Globe’s Spotlight investigation team. Baron is reading an Globe article that describes Mitchell Garabedian’s claims that the Archbishop of Boston was aware about the abuse that Geoghan committed to children. Baron then urges the Spotlight to examine the allegations. Michael Rezendes is a journalist who calls Garabedian. Garabedian initially declines to speak to him. Rezendes isn’t willing to talk however Rezendes informs Garabedian that he’s part of the Spotlight team.
The Spotlight team initially believed that they were investigating the case of one priest, who was transferred to various assignments several times. But, they find an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse by priests from other dioceses in Massachusetts and as and an ongoing covering-up by the Boston Archdiocese. The group for victims’ rights, the Survivors Network of the priests who are abused is led by Phil. This results in the expanding of the investigation to 13 priests. They find that Richard Sipe is an ex-priest who has helped to restore priests who had been sexually abusers. The team compiles a list of the names of 87, and then begins to look for victims in order to verify their suspicions. Spotlight HD
The team is beginning to feel the consequences of their investigation. Matt Carroll, reporter, discovers that one of the priest’s treatment centers is within the same block as his house. But, he’s not able or willing to inform his family members and neighbors. Sacha Pfeiffer , reporter is unable to go to the church with her grandmother due to of the repercussions of the investigation. Rezendes pushes for the report to be released promptly to prevent any further violence. Robinson is also confronted by his peers who participated in the violence.
The September 11 attacks make the team reduce their focus on their story. If Garabedian tells Rezendes that documents made public prove the fact that Cardinal Law was aware of the abuse, but did not acknowledge the issue, they gain momentum. Although Rezendes insists to publish the story as soon as possible to prevent more victims from suffering, and other publications publishing similar stories, Robinson refuses. He insists that the team should continue to study the issue further in order to uncover the root of the problem. The Globe victory allows the Spotlight team to begin the process of writing the report. They intend to release their findings before the beginning of 2002.
They’re close to publish. Robinson admitted that he found out during the investigation that he was sent an email with a list of 20 priests who were sexually abusive in 1993 by lawyer Eric MacLeish who Robinson did not investigate on. Robinson as well as the Spotlight Team are still being praised by Baron for their efforts to uncover these violations. The story is published with links to Law’s papers as well as a phone number for victims of priests who abuse their children. The team gets a flurry of phone calls from victims who want their experiences.
A textual epilogue that Law quit in December 2002. Law was elevated to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The epilogue includes the 105 U.S.-based communities, as in addition to 101 other places in which priests were abused and abuses were committed.