As many people are aware, there is an ongoing crisis of sexual abuse within religious organizations of many faiths. The Catholic Church has been in the news on a regular basis due to these crimes and abuses of power coming to light. When brave victims come forward with the truth about child sex abuse in the church, the credibly accused priests are added to a publically available list.
California priests who served in a diocese and are accused of sexual misconduct can be sued in a court of law and in some cases face criminal charges for their actions. These predators abuse the trust and faith of their victims by taking advantage of their position in the community. In some cases it seems that the hierarchy of the church protects the abusers, rather than their innocent victims.
Survivors who have been sexually assaulted bring the truth to light, and by working together to file lawsuits alleging abuse, these victims not only find closure, but may also be entitled to damages for what they have endured. In addition, these actions make public the names of priests or religious brothers who have sexually abused others in the past.
Some examples of the released lists of priests accused of abuse in California include:
You may want to review these links to the official lists of priests in each diocese with credible accusations of sexual misconduct or abuse:
If you have good reason to believe that sexual abuse is occuring in any situation, you should notify law enforcement immediately. The situation can be investigated, potential victims can be protected, and your fears can be put to rest. Checking the list of accused priests in your area can be helpful before you choose a local church, or if you have general concerns about the safety of yourself or your children.
It is important to remember that many of the accusations made against priests or clergy on these lists have not been presented in a court of law, and these individuals are innocent until proven guilty. Very often, the victims will reach a settlement with their abuser, which may require that they drop any lawsuits pending and even agree to keep quiet about what happened. In some cases too much time may have passed since the accusation was made for any legal action to be taken.
There are many laws in place which protect victims of clergy abuse and may extend or suspend the statute of limitations that protects many of these known abusers. California passed AB218 in January of 2020, which opens a 3-year window for victims whose claims were blocked in the past.
This Administrative Bill:
More than 15 other states have put new laws in place to extend the statute of limitations for all child sexual abuse claims, including “lookback” windows of time during which surivivors may file a lawsuit no matter how long ago they were victimized. No matter when or where in the United States this crime occurred, there may be a new path to justice waiting for you to discover.
At Saunders & Walker P.A., we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of abuse victims in California. Our experienced team understands how difficult it can be to discuss what happened to you or a loved one, and we are ready to listen with compassion and a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.
Please feel free to call (727) 579-4500 or contact us online today to find out more about holding child sex abusers accountable with appropriate legal action.