For decades, the Roman Catholic church has dealt with allegations that priests sexually abused minors. But perhaps more troubling is the extent to which the church ignored, hid, or actively covered up these allegations of abuse.
The physical and emotional pain that results from sexual abuse by a religious leader can last a lifetime. Survivors of sexual abuse often struggle with their relationships, experience feelings of low self-worth, and lose their faith in religion. Some victims become aggressive, and others become suicidal.
If you are a survivor of Catholic priest sex abuse, you might be entitled to financial compensation. While no amount of money can make up for the trauma of being sexually abused, victims of sexual abuse are entitled to justice. Financial compensation can help with the cost of psychological treatment and therapy, which can help repair damage to family relationships and address psychological trauma.
At Robenalt Law, we know that it can be difficult to pursue a claim against someone who caused you harm and emotional pain. We help our clients seek justice by fighting for the compensation they deserve.
Some people mistakenly believe that the Catholic Church and individual priests are protected from liability for sexual abuse of children. This could not be further from the truth. Robenalt Lawyers have successfully held the church and individual priests accountable for the harm they have caused by the abuse they knew about but nevertheless allowed to occur.
Timeline of Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Claims
Although allegations of Catholic priest sex abuse of children started in the 1950s, these claims did not gain traction until the 1990s. Following a 2002 exposé by the Boston Globe, revelations of sexual abuse of children by priests received significant media attention. Today, the Roman Catholic church has paid billions of dollars in compensation to survivors of child sexual abuse.
Time Limit for Bringing a Claim for Child Sexual Abuse by a Priest
In many cases, it takes decades before a survivor of child sexual abuse is ready to come forward. The average age at which victims of child sexual abuse by a priest come forward is fifty. This can make it difficult for survivors to seek compensation for their suffering.
Ohio has extended the time during which a survivor of childhood sexual abuse can file a civil action. Under Ohio law, someone who was a victim of sexual assault while they were under the age of 18 can file a lawsuit until they are 30. The time limit can be even longer in cases where the sexual assault was fraudulently concealed.
The Catholic Church Is Not Immune from Liability for Child Sexual Abuse by Priests
Some people mistakenly believe that the Catholic Church and individual priests are protected from liability for sexual abuse of children. This could not be further from the truth. Robenalt Law and other lawyers have successfully held the church and individual priests accountable for the harm they have caused by the abuse they knew about but nevertheless allowed to occur.
Filing a lawsuit for Catholic priest sex abuse does not require a criminal finding that the priest was guilty. Under O.R.C. §2305.111, sexual conduct against a victim who is under 18 years of age is enough to support a civil claim for childhood sexual abuse. Even if there was not enough evidence to find the priest criminally guilty of committing sexual abuse of a child, there might be enough evidence to seek justice through a civil claim. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case, and you may be able to establish civil liability even if there is not enough evidence to bring criminal charges.
In many cases, lawyers have proven that church leaders knew that priests were sexually abusing children but did nothing to intervene. Rather than removing the abusive priest from a parish and submitting them to the proper authorities, church leaders often transferred the priest to another parish, where the cycle of sexual abuse would begin again. When the diocese failed to stop the sexual abuse—or worse, took active steps to cover it up—the church can be held responsible for acts committed by an individual priest. Ohio Laws on Childhood Sexual Abuse
Fighting for Compensation for Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to financial compensation for:
- the cost of medical and therapy treatment
- damage to family relationships
- lost wages
- psychological damage
- pain and suffering
- punitive damages
We know that pursuing a claim for Catholic priest sex abuse can be difficult. If you or someone you love is a survivor of Catholic priest sex abuse, we want to help.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation. Call 216-930-6282, email [email protected], or use our online form.
We represent clients in Cleveland, throughout Ohio, and elsewhere. In most cases, there is no fee unless we win.