Attorney for Sexual Abuse Victims of Fr. William Authenrieth in Brooklyn

Victims of sexual abuse often live with constant feelings of shame, guilt, sadness, and a variety of other emotions despite being the victim of a crime. No person should have to experience these feelings because a clergy member that was supposed to care for them betrayed their trust. If you were a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Father William Authenrieth, you should consult with an experienced Brooklyn sexual abuse attorney today.

At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we are devoted to helping victims of sexual abuse face their accusers in court to hold them accountable for their terrible actions. Our firm understands how sexual abuse can traumatize a child well into their adult years, and we are here for those victims in their time of need. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential case, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 593-4056, or contact us online.

Forms of Sexual Abuse

In recent years, the prevalence of sexual abuse claims has grown dramatically. Sexual abuse claims can be difficult to litigate because a victim of sexual abuse may fear retaliation from their abuser or may not believe what they endured was sexual abuse. That is why it is important to understand that sexual abuse can be committed under several different circumstances.

One form of sexual abuse is sexual harassment. This form of abuse can be carried out by an abuser making unwanted sexual comments or advances to another person without their consent. In the case of a child being sexually harassed, the child would not even be deemed to have the capability to consent to any sexual advances. Sexual abuse does not require the abuser to make contact with the victim to inflict psychological or emotional trauma.

The following are other forms of sexual abuse that a victim can pursue a legal claim for:

  • Rape
  • Flashing
  • Forcing an individual to view pornographic material
  • Coercing a person to take part in pornography or taking sexually explicit pictures of someone without their consent or explicit images of children
  • Releasing sexually explicit images of another person

This is not an exhaustive list. To learn more about filing a sexual abuse case against the priest or clergy member that abused you, continue reading and speak with an experienced New York sexual abuse lawyer.

How the New York Child Victims Act Works

It can be difficult for a child to speak about the sexual abuse committed against them by an adult. Priests and other members of the clergy often have access to children through a school or some program operated by the diocese. As a result, these priests will use their position in the church to take advantage of children they were tasked to look after.

Father William Authenrieth was a member of the Diocese of Brooklyn and was ordained in 1962. In 2002, a boy accused Father Authenrieth of sexually abusing him in the rectory of St. Vincent Ferrer where he worked. Over the next decade, Father Authenrieth had many other allegations levied against him until he was eventually transferred to another parish. This is just one example of how clergy members can abuse their power to assert dominance over children entrusted to the diocese.

Fortunately, New York has taken steps to make it easier for victims of sexual abuse to come forward with lawsuits against Father Authenrieth and a number of other priests that engaged in sexual abuse of others. The New York Child Victims Act (CVA) extends the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse lawsuits. The statute of limitations dictates the length of time that a person has to file a particular type of lawsuit.

Under the new statute of limitations set by the CVA, victims of sexual abuse have until they reach the age of 55 to file a lawsuit against their abuser. Additionally, if the statute of limitations on your case had already expired, the CVA provides victims with a one-year window to file their lawsuit after the law goes into effect. The one-year period for cases that expired has started on August 14, 2019.

It is important to note that sexual abuse cases are not limited to claims against priests and other members of the clergy. If you were a victim of sexual abuse, you could file a claim against any party that abused you. In some circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the diocese or institution that employed your abuser. This is referred to as vicarious liability and occurs when a person has committed an offense within the scope of their employment.

Work with Our Trusted Brooklyn Sexual Assault Lawyers Today

If you or a family member was a victim of sexual abuse, you should contact an experienced Brooklyn sexual assault lawyer today. The sexual abuse lawyers at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP possess decades of combined legal experience that we are prepared to utilize to help pursue your sexual abuse lawsuit. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 593-4056.


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