San Jose Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Justice for Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse Victims
In recent decades, child sexual abuse has gained public awareness, especially cases involving the Catholic Church. Just recently, the Diocese of San Jose announced that they would release the names of priests with credible sexual abuse accusations within the Diocese of San Jose.
At the same time, Father Brendan McGuire, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in San Jose told parishioners that he too was a victim, sexually abused by a priest 35 years ago. He elaborated on his agony to Catholic News Service. View his homily:
The Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report
Dioceses across the country are scrambling as a result of a Pennsylvania grand jury report. The investigation determined that leaders of the Pennsylvania Roman Catholic Church covered up the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 minors by over 300 priests. The report also said there are likely thousands of more victims whose records were lost or who were too afraid to come forward.
According to the grand jury report, Church officials followed a "playbook for concealing the truth." Church officials would minimize the abuse by calling it "inappropriate contact." Or they would hide the real reasons behind an accused priest being moved, stating that the priest was on sick leave or suffering from nervous exhaustion. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. was criticized for his handling of abusive priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh (1988-2006).
On the heels of the Pennsylvania report, states such as New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Wyoming, Illinois, and Nebraska are starting investigations into dioceses in their states.
Justice for Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims
Cases of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy may take decades to come forward. Typically, victims bring the cases forward years after the occurrence of the abuse. Child molestation first became a public issue in the 1970s, and before that, sexual abuse was a taboo subject. As the cloak of silence surrounding child sex abuse finally drops away, more and more survivors of clergy sexual abuse are finding the strength and courage to come forward, testify, and obtain justice.
In one of the largest settlements ever for Roman Catholic sexual abuse victims, the Diocese of Brooklyn and a local after-school program paid $27.5 million to four men who were sexually abused as children by their religion teacher. The sexual assaults in Brooklyn took place between 2003 and 2009 when the boys were between the ages of 8 and 12.
The reason that the case settled is that it was eligible to be tried in court. In New York, California and other states, arbitrary time limits hurt sexual abuse victims from gaining justice in court.
No example better illustrates this inequity than the case of Kevin Braney, whom we continue to assist in his endeavors to hold the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese accountable for their failure to protect Mr. Braney.
That is why it is important to come forward now and break your silence. In California, the law generally prohibits anyone from seeking civil justice for child sex abuse after the age of 26. Call us if you were sexually abused in California or anywhere throughout the United States by:
- Priests, pastors, evangelists, deacons or church leaders
- Youth ministers, church employees, volunteers or church school teachers
Sexual abuse within the clergy, priesthood, and other religious associations happens all too often. The clergy abuse lawyers at Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard are committed to helping victims of child sex abuse move forward and obtain justice for the suffering they carry.
When you are ready to move forward, we stand ready to help. Call our San Jose office at 408-289-1417 or contact us online, for a free, confidential consultation.
Pennsylvania grand jury report released in August 2018