You and your family trust clergy members at your church to act as spiritual leaders and counselors. The last thing you expect is for clergy to harm you or your loved ones, especially as minor children. Clergy abuse can be one of the most devastating forms of sexual abuse that victims can suffer due to the clergy member’s position of power, authority, and trust. With the help of an Oyster Bay clergy abuse lawyer, you may be able to file a claim for compensation against the responsible parties, including the religious entity the perpetrator is or was affiliated with.
The aftermath of clergy abuse is likely to be a challenging time for you and your family and can shake the foundations of your faith. Together, we can seek justice for the abuse that you suffered and obtain compensation for your injuries. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 219-9622 to learn how we can help with your situation and get started on your claim for compensation.
Clergy Abuse Facts
Clergy abuse transcends all religious denominations, but much of the available media and research targets Catholic priests, deacons, and other clergy members. According to data compiled by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), almost 3,500 individuals accused Catholic clergy members of sexual abuse in the 1970s, and just over 2,000 individuals alleged sexual abuse in the 1980s. By the 1990s, the number of allegations fell to 431, likely in response to increasing knowledge of clergy abuse and new practices designed to prevent it. In the 2000s, up until 2019, there have been 398 allegations of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church.
Although there have been no large-scale or definitive studies of the rates of clergy abuse in other religious denominations, cases do periodically arise in the media and the court system. The spotlight on abuse in the Catholic Church seems to dwarf the rates of abuse in other denominations. But since Catholicism is one of the world’s largest religious denominations, it is not surprising that the sheer numbers may be greater.
For example, in 2019, investigators at the Houston Chronicle found 700 victims of abuse over a 20-year period in the Southern Baptist Church, the largest Protestant denomination. However, according to the Pew Research Center, about half of U.S. adults believe that sexual abuse is more common in the Catholic Church than in other religious denominations.
Liability in Clergy Abuse Claims
Individuals who file clergy abuse claims usually seek to hold multiple parties liable or financially responsible for the abuse that caused their injuries. One of the liable parties will likely be the perpetrator(s) of the abuse if they are still living. Clergy members who may be liable in clergy abuse claims can include priests, deacons, nuns, pastors, ministers, rabbis, and any other type of religious leader.
Clergy abuse claims typically also seek to hold a third party liable for the abuse that occurred. In the case of clergy abuse, this would include the church, temple, or other religious entity that employed the clergy member who committed the abuse. The church may be liable if it failed to act when a reasonable person or entity would have acted in similar circumstances—in legal terms, this is also known as negligence.
Liability for the church may arise from various forms of negligence, including:
- Failing to properly screen clergy members when they are hired, including conducting background checks
- Failing to monitor and supervise clergy members
- Failing to adequately investigate claims of abuse
- Taking actions to conceal allegations of abuse
Holding a church accountable for the abusive acts of its clergy members can be a challenging task. Proving that the church was aware or reasonably should have been aware of the abuse requires a thorough investigation and strong evidence to support your claim for compensation. An Oyster Bay clergy abuse lawyer can be instrumental in your quest to truly obtain justice for the abuse that you endured. To learn more, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are here to listen with care and compassion.
For a free legal consultation with a Oyster Bay Clergy Abuse Lawyer Lawyer serving nationwide, call (800) 794-0444
Deadlines for Filing Clergy Abuse Claims
All states have filing deadlines for different types of lawsuits, which are also known as statutes of limitations. Up until recently, victims of childhood sexual abuse—including clergy abuse—faced strict statutes of limitations that made civil lawsuits much more difficult and even impossible in some cases. The Child Victims Act or New York Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) §214-G, which went into effect in 2019, allows victims who suffered clergy abuse as children under the age of 18 to bring civil suits against their perpetrators and any other liable parties until they turn 55 years old. This greatly expands the time frame in which victims can file claims against the parties responsible for their abuse.
Oyster Bay Clergy Abuse Lawyer Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Learn More About Your Legal Options
After suffering one of the most catastrophic forms of abuse possible, you deserve to know your legal rights. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law firm can fully investigate the circumstances that led to your abuse and work to uncover the evidence necessary to hold the guilty parties accountable for their actions. Our Oyster Bay clergy abuse lawyers will strive to finally seek justice for the abuse you suffered as a child.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we work on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. We only collect a fee if we win your case. This arrangement allows all eligible persons to seek compensation for their losses stemming from clergy abuse without any fear of an inability to pay. To learn more, contact us today at (800) 219-9622 for a free case review.