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Have you been a victim of
childhood sexual abuse by a
member of the clergy?

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Why Now is the Time

Abuse by the Catholic clergy has gone on for many years, decades even. But it was not until the early 2000s that victims began to step forward and tell their stories and seek restitution for the wrongs they suffered. Even today, many children who were abused and are now adults hide the shame they feel for what they were forcedto endure. However, they have the right to stand up and have the responsible parties held liable for their actions.

Those responsible not only include the priests and others in positions of authority who perpetrated the abuse but those who had knowledge of the actions and failed to protect the children. This may include other priests, nuns and others in positions of leadership.

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Clergy

Time is a Friend

For many, they couldn’t bear to talk about what happened, even to their closest friends and family. Sexual abuse causes shame for the victim and fear that no one will believe them. This fear is multiplied when the perpetrator is someone religious and in authority.

Some victims have waited decades to share their stories. It is not until the horrible situation is over and the person has been able to distance themselves from the abuse that they begin to feel comfortable talking about it. They may take even longer to face their accusers in court.

Changes to California Law

A new law goes into effect on January 1, 2020 which will help those victims of clergyabuse as they seek restitution for their losses and justice for those who were responsible. This law changes the timeline and extends it based on the age of the victim. Currently, the victim has until they turn 26 to bring legal action against the perpetrator and others responsible for the abuse. The law extends the timeline until the person’s 40th birthday or within five years of the time damages are discovered from the assault.

This new law protects those whose timelines have expired as well. It allows cases that have expired based on the old law to have three years to renew the claims. The bill also expands the definition of sexual abuse to include assault. Up to treble damages against defendants may be recovered for the victims with this new law.

For those who are past the age of 40, they also have possible options. They may filea certificate of merit for their claims, according to AB 218.

With the change in the statute of limitations, those victims who have waited for years or even decades may qualify to take legal action against the perpetrator, others involved, and even against the church. If they have previously filed a claim which expired, they may have the opportunity to revive it to receive the recompense they deserve.

The Department of Justice is currently investigating the allegations of clergy abuse in California. Now is the time to be part of the litigation to see justice served. Our nationwide firm can help you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your damages. Our goal is to hold those responsible for these reprehensible acts and see justice served for each of our clients.

Clergy Abuse Settlements

The Catholic Church has paid out over $3.8 billion to clergy abuse victims since the 1980s. This money has been paid out to over 8,600 survivors who filed lawsuits and claims seeking justice. Pay-outs have been issued to survivors in:

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