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If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church, you are not aloneWe are here to help you.  Please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and a Rhode Island Sexual Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case.   Help is available nationwide.  There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation.  Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing.  Church Sexual Assault Lawyer Rhode Island

Reasons to call

  • Hold the church and priests accountable
  • Prevent this from happening to someone else
  • Help with the road to recovery – settlement money can provide financial security for you.  It can also help pay for therapy, rehabilitation, and medical treatment

Please call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 or fill out our confidential contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your case.  Rhode Island Church Sexual Assault Lawyer

Church Sexual Assault Lawyer Rhode Island

Child sex abuse scandal Philadelphia Archdiocese (PA)

Philadelphia holds a dubious distinction: It is home to the first clergy member in the U.S. to be legally convicted of endangering children by covering up offenses by other priests in his charge. 

Monsignor William Lynn stood trial and served jail time, a rarity in a system where clergy who protect predator often face no consequences at all. Lynn went on trial with a priest, James Brennan, who was accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in 1994. Another abuser, Steven Avery, was to have been tried with the other two men, but pleaded guilty of abusing a 10-year-old altar boy, after having repeatedly denied it.

Rhode Island Church Sexual Assault Lawyer

Victims of Steven Avery and others testified that Lynn had known of sexual abuse and not reported it. The judge sentenced him to 3 to 6 years and said he had "turned a blind eye while 'monsters in clerical garb' sexually abused children and devastated the church and community." (After a complex series of legal appeals, Lynn was granted a retrial and released after having served 33 of his 36-month sentence.)

Church Sexual Assault Lawyer Rhode Island

The event was just one in a series of high-profile sexual abuse scandals that has rocked the Philadelphia area. In 2005, a shocking grand jury report emerged revealing details of child abuse and church official’s pattern of ignoring it. The report included accusations against dozens of priests and showed that officials at the highest levels including Cardinals Bevilacqua and Kohl, covered it up. The report stated that “the law must be changed so that it doesn’t happen again” and that “it worked: the abuser priests, by choosing children as their targets and trafficking on their trust, were able to prevent or delay reports of their sexual assaults, to the point where applicable statutes of limitations expired.”

Rhode Island Church Sexual Assault Lawyer

The trial of Lynn and Brennan happened in the wake of a 2011 that revealed new accusations of sexual assault in the area. An accusation had first been made against Brennan in 1992, but he was merely placed on health leave and reassigned in 1993.
In 2015, a Pennsylvania state Superior Court ruled that two men who claim they were sexually abused by Catholic priests could not sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia because they had waited too long to initiate lawsuits. The assaults had occurred as long ago as the 60s, and the men had repressed their memories of what happened, while the state allows victims only 2 years to sue for sexual abuse.

In 2018, a massive grand jury report appeared on clergy sexual abuse in six other PA dioceses. Philadelphia was not included because it had been investigated in previous grand jury reports.  The abuse revealed in the suits is shocking; nevertheless, its exposure represents a more thorough investigation here than in other parts of the country.

Church Sexual Assault Lawyer Rhode Island

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