The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Experts

Mary Leary

Mary G. Leary, J.D.


Phone: 202-319-6612

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• Exploitation of Children and Women
• Human Trafficking
• Criminal Procedure
• Fourth Amendment and Technology
• Child Pornography
• Family and Interpersonal Violence
• Criminal Law

School: Columbus School of Law

Media Appearances

  • January 28, 2017

    National Review

    Leary published commentary on how our culture has allowed misogyny, which is now reflected politically.

  • January 16, 2017

    Catholic News Agency

    On obscenity laws and protecting children from violence.

  • November 16, 2016


    The plan lays out steps the school system must take in four critical areas aimed at ensuring there won’t be any repeats of the scandal. “The four building blocks, if you will, that they’re saying is sort of the framework for how they are going to go, do seem to be important ones,” said law professor Mary Leary of the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America

  • September 2, 2016


    Mary G. Leary, professor, law, tells Broadly that it's not unusual for a defendant in a sex crimes case to attack the victim or victim's family in their defense at trial or in a countersuit.

  • August 29, 2016

    National Catholic Register

    Most state-level district attorneys, faced with limited resources, have chosen not to prosecute adult obscenity cases but have instead, often aggressively, gone after child pornography, which is illegal, does not enjoy First Amendment protections and is by and large rejected by the general public.

  • July 7, 2016

    The Boston Globe

    Getting a conviction and at least some punishment for the defendant is sometimes viewed as a better option than risking losing the case at trial. It also removes the possible need to bring a traumatized victim to testify. “The ultimate goal is to decrease crime and hold people responsible, and sometimes that can come in different forms and packages,” saidlaw professor Mary G. Leary, a former prosecutor whose focus included sexual assault cases.

  • May 27, 2016

    National Catholic Register

    Mary Leary, a professor at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, told the Register that it is “highly unusual” — but not necessarily unethical — for a prosecutor to share information with the target of a grand jury investigation.

  • March 6, 2016

    EWTN News/CNA

    The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, passed by both parties in Congress, struck that clause, and President Barack Obama signed the act into law. The law is a “positive step” in the fight against trafficking because it “closes a rather large loophole” and is a statement that “we as a country are against products produced by forced labor – full stop,” said Mary Leary, a human trafficking expert and law professor at The Catholic University of America.

  • July 14, 2015

    Arlington Catholic Herald

    On human trafficking: “We can all sprinkle pixie dust and make Congress useful — or somewhat useful — but that means nothing without a paradigm shift,” said Mary Leary, a law professor at Catholic University in Washington during the morning plenary at the 2015 Conference on Human Trafficking, “Answering Pope Francis’ Call: An American Catholic Response to Modern-day Slavery.”

  • February 27, 2015

    New Boston Post

    Leary published an op-ed on corporations who claim to be protecting privacy.

  • February 2, 2015

    The Observer

    On the cost of pornography to society: Language communicates values and morals. You call something ‘child pornography,’ a seemingly innocuous term that creates the suggestion that it’s pornography with young-looking adults. It’s not. It’s a child sex abuse image.

  • December 23, 2014

    National Catholic Register

    Leary was interviewed on recent cases of excessive force and how to improve the justice system.

  • September 4, 2014


    Are people who looked at McKayla Maroney’s underage photos guilty of looking at child pornography?

  • April 21, 2014

    New York Times

    Leary was quoted in a story about fighting an array of sex crimes.

  • December 14, 2011

    Diane Rhem Show WAMU 88.5 | NPR

    Leary participated in a program about the case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky who was charged with sexually abusing 10 boys. She spoke about the troubling questions raised by this case about child sex abuse generally, including just how prevalent it is, how it's reported, and the help available to victims.

Leading authority on the prosecution of child abuse
Leary is a former prosecutor and is the former director of the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse at the NDAA and a consultant for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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Katie Lee
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Mary McCarthy Hines
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