Unveiling the Shadows: Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

Recent revelations have shed light on a deeply disturbing issue lurking in the shadows for decades – child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. A report released by the state of Illinois has brought to light the harrowing fact that nearly 2,000 children have been abused by Catholic clergy in the state since 1950. This alarming figure is a stark reminder of the urgent need to address this issue and provide justice and support for the victims.

Statutes of Limitations and the Pursuit of Justice

One of the most significant hurdles in pursuing justice for survivors of child sexual abuse is the statute of limitations. In many jurisdictions, these laws limit the time frame for legal action against alleged abusers. Unfortunately, in Illinois, no laws or proposed legislation exist to temporarily or permanently set aside these limitations for abuse survivors to file civil suits against their abusers.

However, there is a growing trend in other states to amend these laws in favor of survivors. For instance, a two-year window in the New York child sex abuse statute of limitations was opened in 2019 and subsequently has closed, leading to tens of thousands of claims against entities such as the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church. This resulted in many lawsuits against the Buffalo Diocese, where at least 230 Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing minors.

Other states, including New Jersey, California, and Louisiana, have also enacted laws to address the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases. These legislative changes enable survivors to hold their abusers and the entities that enabled their conduct accountable.

Progress and Pushback: The Case of Maryland

Most recently, Maryland has made significant strides in addressing child sexual abuse by completely abolishing the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits against accused child sexual abusers. This legislative change followed the release of a similar report detailing child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in the state.

However, this progress has not been without pushback. The Catholic dioceses of Maryland are expected to challenge the law’s constitutionality in state court. Despite this, hundreds of survivors are already coming forward to pursue claims and hold the church and its leadership accountable for decades of covering up credible claims.

This situation underscores the ongoing struggle between the pursuit of justice for survivors and the resistance from institutions that have historically enabled abuse. It highlights the need for continued advocacy and legal support for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Breach of Trust by Members of the Church and Clergy

The Catholic Church, a pillar of faith and trust for many, has been marred by the actions of some of its members. The report indicates that 451 clergy and religious brothers are believed to have abused 1,997 children across the state over the last seven decades. These figures are not just numbers but represent individual lives irrevocably damaged by those they trusted.

These abuses were not isolated incidents. They were often facilitated by a system that allowed known child sex abusers to hide, often in plain sight. The report criticizes the decades of Catholic leadership decisions and policies that enabled this. This breach of trust is a stark reminder of the need for transparency and accountability within institutions that wield significant power and influence.

Unfortunately, due to the statute of limitations, many survivors of child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clerics will never see justice in a legal sense. This highlights the need for legislation changes to ensure survivors can hold their abusers accountable, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

The Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse

Child sexual abuse is not just a crime that affects the victim at the moment; it has profound and lasting effects that can persist into adulthood. Victims often suffer from psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also struggle with substance abuse and have difficulty forming healthy relationships.

Moreover, the trauma of child sexual abuse can lead to physical health problems. Research has shown that survivors of child sexual abuse are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes in adulthood. These long-term effects underscore the severity of child sexual abuse and the urgent need for support and resources for survivors.

It is also important to note that the effects of child sexual abuse are not just individual but also ripple out to affect families and communities. The trauma can strain family relationships and contribute to social problems such as crime and homelessness. Thus, addressing child sexual abuse is a matter of individual justice and a societal imperative.

The Long-Term Pain and Suffering People Face After Abuse

The pain and suffering caused by child sexual abuse do not end when the abuse stops. Survivors often carry the burden of their trauma for the rest of their lives. They may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts that can make daily life a constant struggle.

Moreover, survivors often grapple with feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame. They may feel isolated and misunderstood, which can exacerbate their psychological distress. The stigma surrounding child sexual abuse can also deter survivors from seeking help, leaving them to cope with their trauma alone.

Survivors of child sexual abuse must receive the support and resources they need to heal. This includes access to mental health services, legal support, and community resources. Society must also work to break down the stigma surrounding child sexual abuse to encourage more survivors to come forward.

The Need for People to Come Forward After Suffering Sexual Abuse

One of the most significant barriers to addressing child sexual abuse is the silence surrounding it. Many survivors feel too ashamed or afraid to come forward, and this silence allows the cycle of abuse to continue. We must create a society where survivors feel safe and supported in coming forward.

Coming forward can be a powerful step in the healing process for survivors. It can validate their experiences, help them regain control, and provide a pathway to justice. However, it is important to remember that coming forward is a personal decision and should be respected.

There are resources available to help survivors come forward. This includes hotlines, support groups, and legal services. If a clergy member or anyone else has sexually abused you, we encourage you to contact Alonso Krangle at (800) 403-6191. Our team is committed to providing compassionate and confidential support to survivors.

Contact Alonso Krange if You or a Loved One Was the Victim of Sexual Abuse

If you or a loved one has been a victim of child sexual abuse by a clergy member, it is crucial to remember that you are not alone, and help is available. Contact Alonso Krangle at (800) 403-6191 to discuss your situation with a team of professionals dedicated to helping survivors seek justice and healing.

Remember, your voice matters. By coming forward, you can help break the cycle of abuse and contribute to a safer and more accountable society. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (800) 403-6191 today.

Southern Baptist Church Releases List Of Sex Abusers

Baptist Leaders Release Database of Sex Abusers

An article in the Washington Post on May 27, 2022, revealed that the Southern Baptist Church has been hiding information about sexual abuse under its watch. The Executive Committee for the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) released a list of “alleged church-related sexual abuse offenders,” kept secret for at least ten years.

According to NPR, the list includes approximately 700 entries from situations that span mostly from 2000 to 2019. The list entries released to the public are “entries that reference an admission, confession, guilty plea, conviction, judgment, sentencing, or inclusion on a sex offender registry.”

Evidence Shows Decades of Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up

The list comes with allegations that various individuals within the SBC completely mishandled allegations of sexual abuse and that some committee members maintained private lists of ministers accused of misconduct. There are additional allegations that survivors received pushback when they came forward with stories of sexual abuse and that the SBC was far more concerned with protecting its reputation and pocketbook than victims.

Despite knowing sexual abuse was occurring, there is little to no evidence that anyone took steps to remove abusive ministers from positions of authority and protect victims.

The long list of credibly accused sexual abusers includes pastors and ministers from Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, Missouri, North Carolina, and other states.

Report on Sexual Abuse in Baptist Churches Comes After Months-Long Investigation

Guidepost Solutions conducted a seven-month investigation. Guidepost is an independent firm the Executive Committee hired after pressure from delegates to the last SBC national meeting.

Guidepost interviewed sexual abuse victims of all ages, children, and adults. They all spoke of trauma from the sexual abuse and the response from churches and the SBC. Many survivors indicated their calls, emails, and letters were ignored. Others said they were mistreated.
Some survivors said their efforts to seek help or report perpetrators were actively thwarted.

What Happens Now?

The report by Guidepost suggests the SBC take steps to reform sexual abuse policies and practices. Recommendations include creating an administrative body to oversee long-term reforms regarding sexual abuse and sexual misconduct in the Baptist Church.

It might be too late for many survivors to pursue legal remedies against the SBC or the alleged abusers. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations might have expired. Some states, however, might decide to give sexual abuse survivors more time by passing legislation.

For example, New York just passed the Adult Survivors Act. This law will provide many victims of sexual abuse a one-year lookback window to file lawsuits against sexual abusers and the institutions that protected them. They will be able to file claims even though the initial statute of limitations has expired.

Time will tell if other states do the same for their victims of sexual abuse. Given the number of victims and alleged sexual abusers hidden by the Baptist Church, it would give many survivors a chance to seek accountability.

If You Are a Sexual Abuse Survivor in New York, Call Alonso Krangle, LLP

If you are a survivor of sexual abuse in New York, you might still have time to file a civil lawsuit against your abuser or the church, school, or other institution that protected them.
Call us today at 800-403-6191 for a free evaluation of your sexual abuse lawsuit.

New Jersey Agrees To $87.5 Million Sexual Abuse Settlement

New Jersey Catholic Diocese Agrees 87.5 Million Settlement With Sexual Abuse Survivors

The New Jersey Catholic Diocese of Camden has agreed to settle sexual abuse claims with approximately 300 victims for $87.5 million.

The settlement, which must receive approval from the US Bankruptcy Court, will establish a trust for survivors of sexual abuse that occurred over decades. The trust will receive funds from the Camden Diocese and other Catholic entities over four years. The settlement also includes provisions addressing protocols to protect children from sexual abuse in the future.

The Associated Press reported that victims who endured sexual abuse by clergy of the Camden Diocese and filed claims could receive close to $300,000.

Settlement Comes After NJ Extended Statute Of Limitations For Sexual Abuse Claims

Like NY and many other states, NJ passed legislation extending the statute of limitations to file sexual abuse claims. These changes to the time limits directly resulted from realizing that sexual abuse in the Catholic church spanned decades and affected thousands of children.

The changes also reflect the understanding that because of the trauma sexual abuse causes, many victims cannot come forward with their claims until long after the time limit has passed.

Under the old laws, too many victims of sexual abuse as children missed the window to seek compensation from their abusers.

Previous NJ law gave victims until they turned 20 or two years after realizing the abuse caused harm to sue their abuser. NJ passed legislation in 2000 giving victims of child sex abuse until age 55 or within seven years of realizing that the sexual abuse caused them harm.

The new law resulted in a flood of lawsuits by victims of clergy sexual abuse, which led the Diocese to file for bankruptcy protection. Because the Diocese is in bankruptcy, the Bankruptcy Court must approve the sexual abuse settlement.

Sexual Abuse Allegations In Camden Diocese Span 50 Years

The settlement does not detail the sexual abuse endured by the hundreds of victims. According to Jeff Anderson, who represents more than 70 of them, the abuse “occurred from the 1950s into the 1990s.” He also stated that most allegations of sexual abuse by clergy occurred primarily in the 1960s and 1970s.

According to the Associated Press, more than two dozen states have released lists of clergy suspected of sexually abusing minors. In 2019, the five NJ dioceses released a list of more than 180 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children over decades.

Bishop Apologizes To Victims Of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Following the settlement announcement Bishop Dennis Sullivan issued a statement saying,

“I want to express my sincere apology to all those who have been affected by sexual abuse in our Diocese. My prayers go out to all survivors of abuse and I pledge my continuing commitment to ensure that this terrible chapter in the history of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey never happens again.”

Call Alonso Krangle, LLP If You Were Sexually Abused As A Child

Victims of child sexual abuse – especially those abused by clergy – have found renewed strength to come forward and face their abusers. This is partly due to the extended time they have to file lawsuits. It is also because victims around the country are speaking up, sharing their stories, seeking accountability, and receiving compensation after years of suffering.

The $87.5 million is just one of many large settlement agreements reached between the Catholic church and victims of clergy sexual abuse.

If you are a sexual abuse survivor, call Alonso Krangle, LLP, at 800-403-6191 to find out if you are entitled to file a lawsuit and hold your abusers accountable for your suffering.



Victims of Sexual Abuse by Chess Champion Priest File Lawsuit

Chess Champ Clergy Member Accused of Sexual Abuse in New Lawsuit Filed Under the Child Victims Act

At Alonso Krangle, LLP, our child sexual abuse lawyers are all too familiar with how rampant sexual abuse is. Arguably, sexual abuse by people in positions of authority has been a scourge on society since time immemorial. Thankfully, now there are laws against it and ways for individuals to seek legal recourse against their abusers.

The sexual abuse of children is finally being recognized as a large, worldwide problem that continues to affect victims well into adulthood. People in positions of power are still wont to commit sexual abuse against children under their immediate sphere of power or influence. The clergy, unfortunately, is no different.

To date, there have been thousands of sexual abuse reports and cases containing allegations against clergy members. These claims of sexual abuse come from around the world, including the state of New York.

Thankfully, the situation is changing, making it a bit easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to pursue legal remedies against their abusers and the institutions that protected them. The result? Victims who suffered sexual abuse as children at the hands of trusted clergy members, teachers, and others are finally getting their day in court.

One such case was filed in January of this year and involved the deceased chess grandmaster Bill Lombardy, a one-time priest.

Lombardy was accused of sexually abusing two minors in the 1960s. According to the victims, Lombardy lured and groomed them through offers of chess practice, only to commit sexual abuse upon them once they were alone. Because of New York’s Child Victims Act, the victims of Lombardy’s alleged abuse were able to seek recourse all these years later.

What is the New York Child Victims Act?

In 2019, New York passed the New York Child Victims Act. Simply stated, the Child Victims Act (CVA) extends the period within which victims may file lawsuits against the perpetrators of sexual abuse. Before its passage, the law allowed victims of child sexual abuse to pursue their cases only until the age of 22. With the new law, people often have decades to decide whether to pursue civil cases and compensation from the abusers.

The New York Child Victims Act also allows victims of child sexual abuse to seek criminal prosecution against their offenders until they reach 28. As to the offenders’ civil liability, the law gives victims until they reach 55 to file their lawsuits. Before the CVA, the limit on civil and criminal cases was the age of 22.

Yet, what makes the law special is not the only adjustment of the prescriptive periods but also the very special grace period created for the victims. Under the new law, sexual abuse victims who were previously time-barred from filing lawsuits received one year to do so. Before this one-year period was to end last year, the state legislature, citing the Covid-19 pandemic, extended it to August 14, 2021.

With the period drawing near, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you to seek legal help if you were the victim of sexual abuse as a child. Thousands of new lawsuits have already been filed under the Child Victims Act. Consult with our experienced sexual abuse lawyers if you are thinking about pursuing justice under the CVA.

The Lombardy Case Seeks Compensation From the Archdiocese of New York

The Lombardy case is not necessarily a case against Lombardy himself. Lombardy, a priest and chess Grandmaster, passed away in 2017. The lawsuit seeks to hold liable the Archdiocese of New York and St. Mary’s Church in Bronx, NY.

The victims allege that Lombardy and another priest abused them when they were altar boys and students at St. Mary’s. One victim claims that when he tried to tell school administrators about the sexual abuse, they told him to go back to class and that he “would go to hell” for saying such things.

The victims claim in their lawsuit that every diocese is under the obligation and duty to be aware of what is happening inside their parishes, adding that there should have been policies to enable the proper monitoring and detection of child abuse. The lawsuit essentially claims that these institutions were negligent and liable for the damages suffered by the victims of clergy sexual abuse due to their failure to fulfill such obligations.

Time will tell the outcome of this case. Many victims have found success in the courts and have received substantial compensation for their injuries from sexual abuse.

This lawsuit serves as a good reminder that the CVA look-back window has been extended. Victims might still have time to file lawsuits against the clergy and religious institutions that perpetuated and allowed sexual abuse to occur.

What Should I Do If I Was Sexually Abused as a Child?

Whether you are a victim of sexual abuse by the clergy or another trusted adult, it is imperative that you immediately contact our experienced child sexual abuse lawyers as soon as possible.

At Alonso Krangle, LLP, we understand the trauma a victim of sexual abuse carries daily, and we are here to help you. Seeking legal help is about getting you the amount of compensation you deserve and helping you ease your burdens and move forward.

Many victims of sexual abuse as children report that they feel some closure once they have the opportunity to face their abusers and seek compensation. Filing a sexual abuse claim might be an important step toward putting the abuse and trauma in your past.

Call Our Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers Today to Find Out If You Can File a Claim

If you or any of your loved ones are victims of sexual abuse, we understand what you are going through; you are not alone.

Our child sexual abuse lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP are dedicated to helping you fight for your rights to hold accountable those responsible for your abuse. To learn more about how we can protect your rights and seek damages for child sexual abuse, call us today at 800-403-6191 or 516-350-5555 for a free case evaluation.



Thousands of Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in NY

New Yorkers File Nearly 4,000 Lawsuits Against Sexual Abusers

Saba Ali, writing for the Poughkeepsie Journal in August 2020, reported that the number of lawsuits filed in New York under the Child Victim’s Act is nearing 4,000. “Last August, the law allowed survivors of child sexual abuse one year to file claims against those responsible for abuse regardless of how long ago the incident took place.”

The law intended to allow child abuse victims to seek compensation and accountability from their abuser despite decades having passed since the abuse allegedly occurred. According to Ali, victims throughout the state have taken advantage, seizing the opportunity to seek justice against the people who hurt them and the entities that failed to protect them.

According to the New York Office of Court Administration, as of early August 2020, 3,797 lawsuits were filed in the state with “109 filed in Westchester, six in Dutchess and four in Rockland. New York County had the highest number of claims with 851.”

CVA Raised the Age to File Child Sexual Abuse Claims and Established Lookback Period

The state that at one time, had some of the most restrictive statutes of limitations applicable to sexual abuse, is trying to make things right for its citizens who suffered as children. Except for the one-year lookback window, the CVA allows victims of child sexual abuse to file claims until the age of 55 (formerly 23). This provides what victim-advocates hope is ample time for abuse victims to come to grips with their trauma and memories and decide whether to seek justice by filing a lawsuit.

The act also gave everyone who was a victim of sexual abuse as a child a one-year period during which to file a lawsuit.

Cuomo Extends CVA Window Another Year, More Lawsuits Expected

The lookback window was set to expire in August 2020. Governor Cuomo recently extended this window an additional year. Victims of child sexual abuse now have until August 2021 to file their lawsuits. It will not be surprising to see thousands of new cases filed in the months to come.

Thus far, cases have been filed in New York courts against various defendants from local school districts to large organizations such as The Fresh Air Fund, Rockefeller University, and Boy Scouts of America.

Some law firms reported having to turn away potential clients “because of the limited time.”
Perhaps now, those victims of child sexual abuse will be able to have their day in court.

Contact Alonso Krangle, LLP, for an Evaluation of Your Sexual Abuse Claim

Did a boy scout troop leader molest you? Did a priest sexually abuse you? Did a member of the clergy sexually assault you? Were you the victim of sexual abuse as a child?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, it is time to seek help from experienced child sexual abuse lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP. Our lawyers know how to handle sexual abuse cases with discretion and compassion.

We want you to receive the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800-403-6191 to find out how to protect your legal rights to seek the damages you deserve.



Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

An Expected Surge of Sexual Abuse Lawsuits May Cost Catholic Church Billions

December 2, 2019, the Washington Post reported that due to the legislation in many states suspending the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse lawsuits, the Catholic Church might find itself spending billions on settlements.

Associated Press (AP) reporting indicated that the surge in lawsuits in places such as New York, New Jersey, and California could exceed 5,000 new cases. These payouts alone, the AP suggests, could exceed $4 billion. These three states have some of the longest “lookback” windows that allow victims of child sex abuse to file lawsuits no matter how old the claims are. If you were abused as a child by the Catholic church or the boy scouts – ever – you have time to file a lawsuit in these states.

Update: NYS Extends Deadline To File Cases Until August 14, 2021

Victims Finally Have the Opportunity to Pursue Justice After Sexual Abuse

For survivors of sexual abuse like Nancy Holling-Lonneker, the lookback window is a blessing. The 71-year-old plans to take full advantage of California’s 3-year period. She claims that she was raped repeatedly by a priest beginning when she was seven years old. The abuse, she said, took place in a confessional booth. She told the Washington Post, “It’s like a whole new beginning for me. The survivors coming forward now have been holding on to this horrific experience all of their lives.”

For 57-year-old Ramon Mercado, the death of his devoutly Catholic mother motivated him. With her gone, he decided to explore confronting the priest who he says molested him hundreds of times when he was a child, over three years. An ad on TV prompted him to call a lawyer and try to take advantage of New York’s one-year lookback window to file a claim.

These are only two stories of hundreds of people contacting law firms across the nation. Some allegations of abuse that lawyers are hearing involve priests already on the credibly accused lists. Others include priests long dead and never investigated. These cases present challenges, and the lawyers who are handling them are working tirelessly to track down witnesses, paperwork, and other evidence that can help victims obtain closure.

How Will the Catholic Church Respond to The Demand For Reparations From Thousands of Victims of Sexual Abuse?

How will the Catholic church handle the expense of potential payouts? After losing their battle lobbying against the new statute of limitations laws, the church is considering victim compensation funds and bankruptcy. In several dioceses, victim compensation funds already exist. They can be utilized by sexual abuse victims instead of seeking compensation through the court system.

Approximately twenty Catholic dioceses across the country and one diocese in New York have filed for bankruptcy. The diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy after the one-year lookback window opened in August, “listing claims from alleged abuse survivors and other creditors as much as $500 million. Assets to pay that are estimated at no more than one-fifth that amount.” The diocese of Buffalo may soon follow the same path. The Buffalo diocese has been paying 100 victims of sexual abuse. How? By selling a million-dollar mansion that the diocese owned.

Impact of Church Bankruptcy Filings on Victims

If the Catholic church continues to file bankruptcy, it does not necessarily mean victims can’t recover money. It just means that they may receive less than they would have received in civil court or through a compensation fund. Collecting damages through bankruptcy proceedings and compensation funds have another drawback. They deprive victims of the opportunity to have their day in court, get answers to questions, and face their abusers. Victims of clergy sexual abuse want answers to some of the following questions:

  • How did the church allow this to happen?
  • Did they know about the sexual abuse?
  • Did other people suffer?
  • How high up did the scandal go?

Litigation is often the only way to get documentation and specific information. Some of the information is more important to many individuals than any compensation that may result. The information can provide closure.

Catholic Dioceses are Trying to Find Relief from Oncoming Litigation

Church officials are scrambling to find relief by considering bankruptcy, compensation funds, seeking help from their insurers, and mounting challenges to at least one of the extended statutes of limitations. In New York, Long island churches allege that New York’s law violates due process. With Catholic dioceses facing mounting legal and financial pressure, two lawsuits have been filed alleging the Vatican has some responsibility for the sexual abuse and cover-up that occurred in the catholic church. The Vatican has tremendous wealth that could satisfy the anticipated costs of sexual abuse claims filed in the US against the church.

Contact Our Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP if a Priest Abused You as a Child

The statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims has been lifted, and you still have time to consider filing a lawsuit against your abuser and the institution that protected him or her. Call our lawyers today at 800-403-6191 for a free evaluation of your clergy sexual abuse claim.



NJ Priest Criminally Charged with Sexual Abuse

A New Jersey Priest Recently Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Minors

A New Jersey priest was arrested at the end of November in Ocean County. Patrick J. Kuffner is facing “three counts of sexual assault of a minor between the ages of 13 and 16.” The story was published on App.com, which is part of the USA Today network of news. According to the Diocese of Metuchen, the incidents of abuse against three children took place more than 30 years ago in Massachusetts, before Kuffner became ordained as a priest.

Kuffner was the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish in Middlesex, NJ. He has, according to Anthony P. Kearns III, been on a leave of absence since the allegations were made. Kearns is the chancellor and spokesperson for the Diocese of Metuchen. He further stated that “no cleric in the diocese of Metuchen, who has had a credible allegation of sexual abuse, is in active ministry.”

Update: NYS Extends Deadline To File Cases Until August 14, 2021

New Jersey Diocese is Cooperating with Prosecutors

The diocese appears committed to helping victims of clergy sexual abuse. Kearns said that when they learned of these allegations, they immediately reported it to the prosecutors’ office.

In 2002, the diocese conducted an audit and stated they turned over information about every “alleged case of sexual abuse or misconduct.” Another review conducted by an outside law firm in February 2019, to compile the list of “credibly accused” placed Kuffner on the list.

Victims of Child Sexual Abuse Have Extended Time to File Lawsuits Against Their Abusers

While criminal charges are pending against 72-year-old Kuffner, the victims may consider taking advantage of New Jersey’s new statute of limitations regarding childhood sexual abuse. The law went into effect on December 1, 2019, and provides ample time for victims of sexual abuse to pursue civil remedies in a court of law. The new statute of limitations gives individuals who were sexually abused by priests as children two years to file a lawsuit against their abuser and the church. This window means that anyone previously time-barred from trying to obtain compensation for injuries that resulted from their sexual abuse may now do so.

While the alleged abuse by Kuffner occurred before he was ordained as a priest, it is a good reminder of how some dioceses are cooperating with attempts to stop the rampant sexual abuse in the Catholic church. A statement from the Metuchen diocese said that since the initial 2002 audit, they have “required background checks, child protection training for all who work or volunteer with children and has implemented zero-tolerance policies.”

New Jersey Law Opens the Door to More Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Many credible accusations of sexual abuse date back to the 1980s. Hopefully, as more attention is drawn to the horrors of child sexual abuse, more religious, social, and educational organizations will continue to take steps to protect the children in their care better.

In the meantime, states like New Jersey are allowing victims to collect compensation from their abusers. It is not too late for you to file a civil lawsuit against the priest or church member who abused you.

Contact Our Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP to Learn More About Filing a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in New Jersey

You can reach our compassionate and discrete sexual abuse lawyers at 800-403-6191.

We are reviewing sexual abuse cases for victims in New Jersey. Call us today for a free evaluation of your sexual abuse claim.



NJ Sexual Abuse Claims

New Jersey’s New Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations Gives Victims More Time to File a Lawsuit

December 1, 2019, marked the beginning of a new wave of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits as New Jersey’s new statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases became effective. The new law provides a two-year window during which victims of child sexual abuse who were previously time-barred from filing civil claims, may do so.

Abbot Koloff for NorthJersey.com detailed some of the allegations contained in the lawsuits filed immediately after the law went into effect.

Update: NYS Extends Deadline To File Cases Until August 14, 2021

Former New Jersey Cardinal Named in Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

One of the first cases contains allegations by a “new accuser” against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The accuser claims in his court documents that while growing up in Hackensack, he was the victim of sexual abuse and that McCarrick was his abuser.

McCarrick is no stranger to sexual abuse allegations. As reported on npr.org, the Vatican defrocked McCarrick in February 2019 after finding him guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”

In 2018, prior to his expulsion from the priesthood, McCarrick resigned from his position as Cardinal amidst evidence that he molested a young altar boy nearly 25 years ago. The New York Times allegedly uncovered evidence that two New Jersey dioceses paid settlements to men who accused McCarrick of sexually abusing them as children.

Early Lawsuits Allege Sexual Abuse by New Jersey Priests

Npr.com reported that at least two additional lawsuits filed in the initial batch contain allegations of sexual abuse by priests in New Jersey. One claim is against a priest from New Brunswick who was not publicly named on previous lists released by any diocese. Another case is against a priest from Paterson, who was the subject of a sexual abuse investigation years ago. That priest was reinstated. It is unclear whether the lawsuit against him is based on allegations that were the subject of that investigation or different ones.

New Jersey Expects to See More Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

New Jersey courts are bracing for even more lawsuits against organizations such as Boy Scouts of America, the Catholic Church, and even public schools. New Jersey, like several other states, extended and suspended the statute of limitations specifically to allow victims of child sexual abuse the opportunity to pursue legal remedies against their alleged abusers. The institutions that protected sexual abusers and “covered-up” the allegations are also subject to liability.

As Koloff wrote, “Victims’ advocates and attorneys have been preparing for this day for months.” The enactment of the new law “makes it much easier to win sex abuse suits by giving survivors more time to bring accusations, doing away with restrictions that had barred such lawsuits.”

Filing Lawsuits Against Sexual Abusers Can Help Victims Heal

Even victims whose lawsuits were barred a long time ago, have two years to file lawsuits under the new statute of limitations. For some victims, the goal might be to collect money, compensation for years of suffering, shame, depression, and other injuries that occur because of childhood sexual abuse.

For others, the goal of filing a claim is closure or a chance to get answers. It’s an opportunity to depose witnesses, ask questions, and perhaps face one’s abuser in a court of law.

Some victims’ advocates feel strongly that filing a lawsuit and obtaining compensation is an important part of the healing process for many survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Contact Our Lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP, If You Were the Victim of Sexual Abuse as a Child

Our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP, are reviewing claims for sexual abuse victims in New Jersey.

If you were sexually abused by a priest, religious leader, boy scout leader, teacher or counselor, call our office for a free case evaluation. You can reach our lawyers representing sexual abuse victims in New Jersey at 800-403-6191.



Federal Case Clergy Abuse

Cousins Filed Federal Lawsuit in New York for Sexual Abuse

Two cousins filed a federal lawsuit in New York this November, containing allegations that they were both sexually assaulted as children by Franciscan missionaries. The lawsuit, according to the Associated Press, claims that in addition to suffering the abuse, “Catholic officials pressured them into signing settlements that paid them little money and required them to remain silent about the alleged abuse.”

Update: NYS Extends Deadline To File Cases Until August 14, 2021

Court Document Allege Catholics Violated Church Policy with NDA

The documents state that in 2018, church officials came to the brothers in an attempt to prevent them from sharing their stories of abuse or pursue remedies in court. This request, the lawsuit claims, is a direct violation of the promise made by American bishops in 2002 that they would abandon the use of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs). “The confidentiality provisions contained in the disputed agreements were intended to silence” the two men “in direct contradiction” to the U.S. Catholic Church’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

NDAs were a favored tool the Catholic church used to maintain the shroud of secrecy around church sexual abuse.

The Allegations in The Lawsuit Detail Abuse in Multiple States

LaJarvis and Joshua Love, now 36, claim that they were “repeatedly abused by Franciscan brothers Paul West and the late Don Lucas while they were enrolled in a Catholic grade school in Greenwood, Mississippi.” They also allege that West abused them on road trips from Mississippi to New York, where they attended Camp Alvernia in Centerport, on Long Island. The suit also contains allegations of abuse in a New York City hotel. Rape, sexual assault, and encouraging the boys to perform sexual acts on each other, are some of the specific claims the cousins make in their complaint.

The crossing of state lines is what prompted the filing in Federal court. The lawsuit also contains claims that West and Lucas violated the Mann act, by transporting minors across state lines to engage in sexual activity.

The Cousins Dispute the Fairness of Settlement “Negotiations”

The Love cousins reported their abuse separately to the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi. The diocese has a list of clergy members credibly accused of sexual abuse, and West and Lucas are on it. It is unclear if others have accused them of sexual abuse because the list does not include the names of accusers.

According to the lawsuit, Joshua love was offered 10,000 in a meeting between him, The Rev. James G. Gannon, leader of the Wisconsin Franciscans, and Valerie McClellan, the victims’ assistance coordinator for the Jackson Diocese. Joshua, who can’t read, states in the complaint that he could not understand the terms of the offer. Gannon raised his offer to 15,000, and he was encouraged to take it.

La Jarvis claims that he was also encouraged to settle for 15,000 and discouraged from seeking counsel. It is well known that victims of sexual abuse by clergy who are represented by attorneys receive well more than the few thousand dollars offered to the Love cousins.
In 2006, the Jackson diocese settled some lawsuits, and among 19 victims, they averaged 250,000 each. More recent settlements in other dioceses have been double that.

Did the Church Take Unfair Advantage of These Sexual Abuse Victims?

Time will tell what the outcome of this case is. Was racism involved? Did the church leaders take advantage of an illiterate victim? Did they prey on these men knowing they needed money or that they would not hire a lawyer? The outcome of this case may pave the way for the reexamination of other settlements between the church and its sexual abuse victims.

Contact Our Lawyers Reviewing Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases in New York and New Jersey

If you were sexually abused by a priest when you were a child, New York, New Jersey, and many other states provide a window during which you may file a lawsuit. Contact our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP to find out if you qualify to collect compensation for clergy sexual abuse. Call us now at 800-403-6191.



New Jersey Sexual Abuse Law

New Jersey Law Opens the Door for a Wave of Sexual Abuse Claims

The Star Tribune reported that in the wake of “loosening of limits on sexual abuse claims,” New Jersey can expect a wave of lawsuits filed by people taking advantage of the new law’s provisions. The new law gives victims a unique opportunity to hold their abusers accountable and exposes “a broader spectrum of institutions” exposure to liability.

New Jersey, like many states, recently overhauled its statutes of limitations related to criminal and civil sexual abuse cases. These changes came after last year’s report by a Pennsylvania grand jury. That report found that there were thousands of children sexually abused by Catholic priests and that the Catholic church went to great lengths to cover up the abuse.

Update: NYS Extends Deadline To File Cases Until August 14, 2021

New Jersey Law Gives Previously Barred Sexual Abuse Victims, Two Years to File Claims

The law allows child victims until the age of 55 to sue their sexual abusers or within seven years of becoming aware of sexual abuse. Adult sexual abuse victims have seven years from the discovery of the abuse.

Perhaps the essential provision of the new law is the look-back period. Victims who were previously barred under the old statute of limitations, have a two -year window during which to file claims against their sexual abusers.

Churches and Scouts Inundated with Claims

According to the Star Tribune, the Roman Catholic Church and Boy Scouts of America “have already been inundated” with sexual abuse lawsuits after similar laws passed in other states. But, as a lawyer speaking to the Tribune explained, New Jersey’s new law widens the scope of potential liability to other institutions by making it easier for victims to pursue legal remedies.

For one particular victim, the new law means that at age 40, after realizing a counselor abused him at a juvenile home as a child; he has the chance to “settle some things.”

New Jersey’s previous law allowed victims of sexual abuse to file claims against individuals or institutions acting in loco parentis, only if the alleged abuse occurred within the household. This provision of the law has been removed.

What does this mean for victims of sexual abuse in New Jersey? It means that it is now easier to file a lawsuit against a public school, camp, church, club, or any organization that acts in place of a parent. The Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church are facing the brunt of sexual abuse claims.

Nonetheless, it is estimated that about one-quarter of victims of sexual abuse are seeking to collect damages from other institutions.

Contact Our Lawyers Representing Victims of Sexual Abuse in New Jersey

Call our lawyers at Alonso Krangle, LLP, to find out more about your eligibility to file a sexual abuse claim. You may be able to collect damages from your abuser and the institution that protected him or her. Contact us at 800-403-6191 for a free evaluation of your New Jersey sexual abuse case.


  • http://www.startribune.com/lawsuit-wave-expected-as-new-jersey-eases-sex-abuse-limits/565640902/