Any type of sexual abuse causes both physical and mental trauma. When the abuser is a trusted member of the clergy, a victim can suffer astronomical pain, including loss of faith. Whenever a trusted member of the clergy abuses their position of authority to sexually abuse another person, victims and communities suffer.
If you experienced sexual abuse from a clergy member in the state of New York, the compassionate Manhattan clergy abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today at (800) 219-9622 to speak with a member of our team.
Clergy members encompass any leader or ordained person in a religious community. Clergy members can include bishops, priests, nuns, deacons, ministers, pastors, rabbis, or any other religious figure. Because clergy members are the leaders within a religious organization, their congregations place an incredible amount of trust and faith in them. Therefore, when they abuse this position of trust, it can cause devastating results for not only the victim but the community as a whole.
New York Law and Clergy Abuse
Any lack of consent or unwanted sexual activity is sexual abuse. In cases regarding clergy members, there is an imbalance of power between the abuser and the victim due to the position the clergy member holds in the religious community.
Some examples of non-consensual or unwanted sexual abuse by clergy members include:
- Use of force by a clergy member regarding any type of sexual act
- Unwanted fondling, touching, patting, or squeezing of any body part
- Engaging in any physical contact that is non-consensual
- Any sexual stimulation, including oral and penetrative sexual acts
- Unwanted removal of clothing
- Revealing any private body part to a non-consensual victim
- Words or actions that rise to the level of sexual intimidation through comments or threats
- Repeated sexual comments, gestures, and/or behaviors
- Exposing underage minor children to sexually explicit images, language, or anything else of a sexual nature
- Taking or requesting photographs of a sexual nature of a minor, either for personal use or for distribution
Victims of sexual abuse by clergy members have a limited amount of time to file a claim against their abuser based on statutes of limitations set by the New York State Unified Court System. The New York State Senate signed the Child Victims Act into law, which allows additional time for child sex abuse victims to file a claim against their abusers. Under this law, any victim who suffered sexual abuse as a child has until their 55th birthday to file a civil claim against their abuser and until the age of 28 to file a criminal complaint.
For a free legal consultation with a Manhattan Clergy Abuse Lawyer Lawyer serving Manhattan, call (800) 794-0444
Liable Parties in Clergy Abuse Cases
As a victim of clergy abuse, you have a legal right to pursue justice against multiple parties, including the person who abused you. Some of the liable parties that may have a legal responsibility to compensate you for your physical and emotional trauma include the parties listed below.
A victim has the legal right to file a claim against the actual clergy sex abuser for any physical or emotional injury or loss they experienced.
The victim may also have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the religious institution that hired or supervised the clergy member. In many cases of clergy sexual abuse, a victim can prove that the church, temple, or other religious institution exhibited negligence that ultimately led to the clergy abuse. Some of the ways this negligence could occur include:
- Negligence in the hiring process (i.e., failing to perform criminal background checks, hiring a person with a known history or criminal record of sexual abuse, etc.)
- Negligence in the supervision process (i.e., failing to follow up on allegations of sexual abuse, etc.)
- Overtly concealing any discovered abuse by the clergy member against any other person
- Failure to thoroughly investigate any allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct by the clergy member
- Failure to have procedures and protocols in place if a clergy member receives complaints regarding sexual abuse or misconduct
If you experienced any kind of sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy, a Manhattan clergy abuse lawyer can help you understand your next steps and protect your legal rights. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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Types of Compensation Available for Clergy Abuse Victims
While every case of clergy abuse will have different facts and circumstances, as a clergy abuse survivor, you may have the legal right to hold the clergy member and the religious institution liable for their failures, willful concealment of the abuse, or any other form of misconduct. A civil lawsuit may allow a victim to receive the following types of financial compensation for the harm they suffered due to clergy abuse:
- Medical bills, including any costs associated with mental health therapies and treatments
- Future medical bills, including future mental health expenses
- Psychological trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other economic or non-economic losses
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Our Legal Team Is Here to Help
If you experienced any sexual abuse from a clergy member, you have the legal right to pursue justice. Doing so may not only help you move forward but may also provide a path for other victims to do the same. Additionally, coming forward about your abuse can potentially prevent the clergy member from harming others.
Our caring team of Manhattan clergy abuse lawyers is ready to help with your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 219-9622 to learn more.
Call or text (800) 794-0444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form