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Were you sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church? You are not alone. We are here to help abuse victims. Stand up against your abuser and help prevent this from happening to someone else. Please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and an Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case. This is a free consultation. There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation at the end of the case. Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing. Church Sex Abuse Lawyer Pennsylvania
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In August 2018, a grand jury in Pennsylvania circulated an investigation that uncovered the cover up of the abuse of more than 1,000 victims perpetrated by more than 300 priests throughout 70 years in six of the eight dioceses in the state. The report speculated that there were more than likely thousands of other victims who have been either too frightened to come forward or whose records ended up being lost.
The grand jury met for two years and received the testimonial evidence of victims from the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. They also listened to the testimony of the bishop of Erie, and the grand jury reviewed half a million written documents within the archives of the dioceses. The document posted every accused priest and detailed the measures the diocese used to cover for their abuse.
Church Sex Abuse Lawyer Pennsylvania
The bishops within the state of Pennsylvania were found to have convinced law enforcement officials not to look into claims and convinced victims not to report instances of abuse. Though many of the priests dealing with allegations were taken out of ministry, the bishops that vouched for and guarded them remained in office or maybe were promoted.
Following the release of the record, some bishops offered to be more candid and described new processes which make congregations more secure for young people. Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh was insistent that there had been simply no cover up. He claimed that there had been transparency during the last three decades.
Church Sex Abuse Lawyer Pennsylvania
The grand jury learned that the church used euphemisms to minimize the abuse, designated priests without having any experience in investigating sexual abuse accusations to review their fellow priests, and concealing the reasons behind relocating or removing an accused priest. The report established that bishops would either inform the priest’s parishioners that he was on some type of sick leave or say practically nothing.
Church Sexual Abuse Lawyers Pennsylvania
Victims expressed relief that their accounts were finally being shared and that their abusers were being publicly called out. Some questioned the possible lack of justice offending priests encountered as well as what further measures would be taken. The state legislature in Pennsylvania has declined to get rid of the statute of limitations which would allow for victims to file civil cases. The current statute stops childhood victims over the age of 30 from filing a civil suit against the church. The grand jury recommended an extension of the statute of limitations for both civil and criminal cases, additionally they encouraged a temporary removal of the statute of limitations to allow older victims to file their cases.
Church Sex Abuse Lawyer PA