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Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer Vermont - Free Confidential Consultation - 1-866-777-2557

Vermont Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer - Vermont Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlements

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 Vermont 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.  Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Vermont

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.  Vermont Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Vermont

Child sex abuse scandal Burlington Diocese (VT)

In 2010, an attorney representing a group of child sex abuse victims spoke insightful words. After the Burlington, Vermont Diocese agreed to settle with a group of victims, he said “Our clients are very happy to have an opportunity to close this chapter of their lives… All of them know that nothing goes away, nothing changes. They will live with this for the rest of their lives.” For many victims, a legal victory is just the first chapter in a lifelong struggle to cope with the past.

Vermont Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

The suit was filed by a group of 26 former altar boys who were molested by Burlington priests in the 1970s. Most of their accusations centered around parish priest Edward Pacquette, who was hired as a priest in Vermont in 1972. Internal documents showed he had previously been accused of molesting children in other states and that church officials knew about it. In court, the diocese did not attempt to deny he was guilty; rather, they claimed they followed the guidance of psychiatrists, who had declared Pacquette cured of “homosexuality.”

The case was settled for a total of $17.6 million. Pacquette was defrocked by the Vatican in 2009. Shockingly in an interview with the Burlington Free Press, he addressed the accusations: “If what I know now I knew back then, all of this would have been avoided," he said. "But I was blinded. It's hard to explain why I did it. I don't know.”

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Vermont

The church’s response in this case followed a pattern that is all too common around the country. In 2002, a series of Boston Globe investigative reports on clergy sex abuse spurred law enforcement around the country, including in Burlington, to investigate. But in Vermont they struggled to get the diocese to cooperate and deliver documents as promised. Church officials were eventually ordered by a superior court to provide documents, but flouted the order and were eventually the subject of a Globe piece, “Vt. Diocese Called Slow to Respond to Abuse”

The diocese gradually settled with many of the more than 40 accusers who emerged in the wake of the story. In 2018, they were in the news again with the release of the Buzzfeed story “We Saw Nuns Kill Children: The Ghosts of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage,” about a Burlington facility that operated from 1854 to 1974. The stories in the article detail a history of physical abuse, sexual abuse and even nuns’ negligence causing the alleged deaths of children, which they then covered up. Those victims have struggled to be heard and gain any restitution.

Vermont Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

In 2018, the Catholic church in Vermont Catholic Church made headlines in a more positive way by agreeing to work with a legal investigation, dropping the nondisclosure agreements that bound former victims, and forming a committee that would review clergy misconduct files and publicly release the names of abusers. These moves are a step forward from the unsavory past.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Vermont

Call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 for a Free, Confidential Consultation.  No Legal Fees Unless You Receive Settlement.