In 2002, The Boston Globe published a series of articles exposing the long-running efforts by local Catholic Church dioceses to cover up the sexual abuse of minors committed by priests assigned to the area. The ensuing scandal resulted in similar revelations in dioceses across the country, and it soon became clear that clergy abuse cases, and systemic attempts to conceal these crimes from the public, were a widespread phenomenon in the Catholic Church, both across the U.S. and internationally.
In 2019, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt released a report summarizing the results of a lengthy investigation into Missouri priests accused of abuse. The investigation included the examination of the personnel record of every Missouri-area priest who served at a state diocese as far back as 1945. The report found that “For decades, faced with credible reports of abuse, the church refused to acknowledge the victims and instead focused its efforts on protecting its priests. During this time, the responsibility for evaluating and responding to reports of abuse and misconduct was controlled by a small circle of priests in diocesan leadership and the bishops.”
At present, over 200 individuals associated with Missouri dioceses have been accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. It is likely that the list of priests accused of abuse in Missouri will continue to expand as new cases are revealed and more victims come forward.
Cases of priest abuse have been reported in all four Missouri dioceses:
Saunders & Walker, P.A., provides legal representation to victims of clergy abuse in Missouri as well as other areas of the U.S.
In the state of Missouri, persons who were sexually abused prior to age 18 can file a lawsuit against a perpetrator (1) ten years after their 21st birthday; OR (2) three years after the discovery of an injury (physical or psychological) caused by childhood sexual abuse.
There is no statute of limitations to bring criminal charges against an offender who sexually abused a minor.
If you or someone you know has been abused by a priest or another authority figure affiliated with a Missouri diocese, you may qualify for financial compensation. It is possible to press legal action against a diocese even in cases where the offending individual is deceased.
Call Saunders & Walker at (727) 579-4500 for a free consultation. All communications with our firm are strictly confidential.
The names listed below were taken from the Missouri section of bishop-accountability.org, a watchdog website that seeks to maintain up-to-date information on priests and other individuals in the U.S. affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church who have been accused of sexual abuse.
It is important to understand that individuals accused of crimes have the presumption of innocence unless they have been convicted in a court of law. An individual’s presence on this list should not by itself be taken as proof that they are guilty of the crimes alleged. Accusations and out-of-court settlements are not evidence of guilt.