Spotlight Two police officers discuss the 1976 arrest of Fr. John Geoghan in the Boston Police station. The mother of the child is contacted by a senior clergyman. An Assistant District Attorney then enters the precinct and tells the police officers to not reveal to the media what has happened. Geoghan is released after his arrest has not been made public.
In 2001, Marty Baron, the new managing editor of The Boston Globe, meets Walter “Robby” Robinson, the editor of the newspaper’s “Spotlight” investigation team. After Baron is exposed to an Globe article about an attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, charging that Cardinal Bernard Law, the Archbishop of Boston knew about Geoghan’s abuse of children and did not do anything to stop Geoghan, Baron urges the Spotlight team to examine. Michael Rezendes, a journalist, makes contact with Garabedian. Garabedian initially declines to talk to him. Even though Rezendes is advised not to do so, Rezendes admits that he’s part of the Spotlight team, and he convinces Garabedian to speak with him.
At first, they believe that they are following the story of one priest who was shifted to new assignments several times The Spotlight team is able to identify a pattern of sexual abuse by other priests in Massachusetts and an ongoing cover-up by the Boston Archdiocese. Through Phil Saviano, who heads the group of victims’ rights called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) The team is prompted to broaden their search to thirteen priests. They discover that Richard Sipe is a former priest who helped to rehabilitate priests who were sexually abusers. In the course of their research team, they create the list of 87 names and begin to find victims to confirm their suspicions.
The investigation is beginning to affect the team The reporter Matt Carroll learns one of the priest treatment centers is on the same block as his home however he is unable to share the information with his children or neighbors and reporter Sacha Pfeiffer discovers she is unable attend church with her grandmother following seeing the extent of the investigation. Rezendes insists on getting the news out quickly in order to prevent further abuse; and Robinson faces pushback from certain of his closest friends who, he discovers, were involved in concealing the abuse. Spotlight HD
The September 11 attacks prompt the team to put aside their narrative. If Garabedian tells Rezendes that publicly available documents show that Cardinal Law was aware of the abuse, but did not acknowledge it, they regain momentum. Although Rezendes insists on publishing the story right away to avoid more victims suffering, and other publications publishing similar articles, Robinson refuses. He says that the team needs to continue to investigate the issue more thoroughly to discover the root of the problem. The Globe win allows the Spotlight team to begin writing the report. They are planning to publish their findings in early 2002.
They’re close to publish. Robinson admitted that he discovered during the probe that he had received the list of 20 priests who had been sexually abusive in 1993 by lawyer Eric MacLeish and that Robinson did not investigate on. Baron continues to praise Robinson and the Spotlight team’s efforts to uncover the crimes today. The story will be published and includes a link to documents that reveal Law’s inaction and a phone number for victims of priests who abuse their children. The team gets a flurry of calls from victims seeking their experiences.
A textual epilogue notes that Law quit in December 2002 and was eventually elevated to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, and lists 105 U.S. communities and 101 other communities around the world in which major scandals of abuse by priests have taken place.