Brooklyn Attorney for Sexual Abuse Victims at St. Patrick’s Church
St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church in Brooklyn recently settled a claim with victims of sexual abuse stemming from their time as students in catechism at St. Patrick’s. These survivors, and potentially many more, were subjected to sexual abuse that the institution allegedly ignored or potentially covered up. Other investigations into teachers, administrators, priests, and others at St. Patrick’s may reveal similar victimization and abuse over the years.
If you or a loved one was abused by clergy or staff at St. Patrick’s in Brooklyn or by other workers affiliated with the church, contact Sullivan and Galleshaw today. Our attorneys work to seek justice and fair compensation for victims of sexual abuse in New York, and we may be able to take your case as well. Call (718) 843-0300 to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation with our attorneys.
Suing for Sexual Abuse in New York City
Survivors of sexual abuse do not need to remain in the dark. While the criminal justice system sometimes brings cases to light, private accusations and investigations are often far more effective in seeking justice for the victims. Alongside any criminal charges – or as a replacement for criminal charges – survivors of sexual abuse in the church, at school, or in any other situation can typically bring a civil lawsuit against their abuser and the institutions that allowed this abuse to go on. In many cases, this can recover financial compensation for the victim.
While criminal charges may work to seek justice by putting the perpetrator in prison or having them face other criminal penalties, this does little to help the victim. The victim may be made to testify and relive their trauma, and, at the end of the day, they will typically walk away with little to no restitution for the harm they suffered. Especially in cases where the perpetrator is now elderly or deceased, the court might be unable to order jail time.
Instead, taking the abuser and the institution to court in a civil lawsuit may get the victim financial compensation and tangible awards for the harm they faced.
Time Limit to Sue for Child Sexual Abuse in the Church under the Child Victims Act
Many states have strict deadlines to file sexual abuse claims. For abuse that occurred when the victim was a child, it may be impossible to bring the case later in life when the victim finally finds the strength to come forward. These kinds of strict deadlines are detrimental to survivors and their families, so New York changed its laws.
The Child Victims Act, signed in 2019, gives victims of sexual abuse that occurred when they were children until they turn 55 to file a civil lawsuit against their abuser and any institutions that shared responsibility for the abuse. This primarily helps victims of abuse in the church sue not only the individual priest or worker that abused them but also the institution.
In addition to extending the deadline for civil suits, there is an increased window of time for criminal prosecutions, allowing prosecution up until the victim’s 28th birthday. Moreover, there is a single grace period during which victims can come forward and file their claim, even if their deadline to file would otherwise have passed. Talk to a lawyer immediately to ensure that your claim is preserved and you can get your lawsuit filed in time to meet this window or meet other deadlines in your case.
Types of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Claims in New York for Victims of Priests
Victims of sexual abuse often doubt their abuse and wonder if the victimization that they suffered “counts.” From a legal standpoint, these kinds of doubts do not pose a major issue to coming forward and telling your story. While there may be different criminal charges or civil causes of action relevant to different types of abuse, victims of any kind of sexual abuse, rape, molestation, or other violations typically have grounds to sue for the harm they suffered.
While the definition of “sexual abuse” might shift based on the state or the specific situation being referenced, and the definition of “rape” might have separate connotations, victims do not need to worry if their abuse meets anyone’s “standards.” The law in New York gives victims the right to sue for any unwanted touching, unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault, rape, or other coerced or forced sex acts. With broad definitions covering many types of issues, victims of all kinds are empowered to come forward and file claims against priests and staff at churches like St. Patrick’s in Brooklyn.
In addition to suing the individual, you may be entitled to sue their employer for the role they played. With churches and catholic schools, the institution may have been negligent in supervising its staff and allowing the abuse to occur in the first place. Moreover, they may be responsible for relocating priests or staff members and working to cover up the harm. In either case, they may share responsibility for the harm you faced and can be held accountable through multiple legal avenues.
Call Our Attorney for Victims of Sexual Abuse at St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church in Brooklyn
If you or a loved one survived sexual abuse perpetrated by a priest or another employee at St. Patrick’s Church in Brooklyn, call Sullivan and Galleshaw. Our attorneys for sexual abuse victims at St. Patrick’s Church offer free consultations to help victims discuss their potential claim in a safe, confidential environment. If you decide to work with us, we will work tirelessly to get you the justice you deserve and fight for financial compensation for the abuse you faced. For a free, confidential consultation on your potential case, call our law offices today at (718) 843-0300.