Priest Molestation Case – $475,000 Settlement
So much trust is placed in those people that help guide us through life. Whether they are coaches, teachers or clergy, we often blindly assume that these people are always looking out for our best interests. But unfortunately, this is not always true. In this case, we were contacted by a man who had been molested and sexually abused over a long period of time by a priest in the employ of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Even though this abuse occurred well over 10 years ago, we were still able to help this man. Through extensive negotiations, a fair and just settlement in the amount of $475,000 was reached to help our client in his ongoing recovery and to avoid the necessity of testifying about this dark chapter in his life at trial.
A Nationwide Breach of Trust and Faith
In recent years, Catholic priests and clergy not just from the Archdiocese of Chicago, but from around the country (and the world), have come under fire for sexual abuse and sexual assault of parishioners and others. These attacks are not only an attack on the physical and mental well-being of those affected, but in the case of clergy sex abuse, sometimes also an assault on the religious beliefs of the victims, forever changing their views on their faith and in whom to place their trust.
The vast majority of clergy are not involved in any such bad acts and serve their parishioners honorably. But for those who have breached this trust, they are increasingly the subject of lawsuits across the country, filed both against priests personally as well as against their diocese or governing bodies who may be held responsible as well. These include:
- The bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix who admitted that over 50 priests who were accused of sexual abuse were protected by shuffling them between various parishes across Arizona while continuing to work with children.
- A former pastor in Louisiana was charged with possession of 500 images of child pornography. Another priest in the neighboring Lake Charles Diocese was sentenced to two life sentences for aggravated rape and other sexual abuse charges. Another priest plead guilty to rape, sodomy, and child molestation involving as many as 100 victims.
- In Delaware, over $110 million dollars were paid out 152 adults who had survived sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests.
- The Archdiocese of St Paul and Minnesota is working to resolve child sex abuse claims against 71 priests and the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota is also presently handling 74 such claims against 31 members of the clergy.
- In New York, accusers filed 118 claims alleging sexual abuse with the Archdiocese of New York paying out $1.5 million dollars to settle claims involving six priests just from Hudson Valley.
- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, California offered $35 million dollars to 33 people who had alleged sexual assault by 10 priests.
- In Pennsylvania, a state-wide probe has discovered that at least 50 priest in just one of the diocese under investigation were involved in the sexual molestation of children.
- The Pope defrocked no less than five priests in a Des Moines, Iowa diocese for sexual misconduct.