Clergy Sexual Abuse: Current Church Cases
Sexual abuse at a young age can have disastrous consequences for a survivor. The places that victims trust the most – such as their schools and churches – are where child sexual abuse takes place the most often. These institutions use their positions of trust to sexually abuse and assault victims. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by anyone in the clergy, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for a confidential case evaluation. We can be your advocates during a lawsuit against a church or institution in California and beyond.
What Is Clergy Sexual Abuse?
Clergy sexual abuse describes many different types of sex crimes committed by members of the clergy, such as a priest, pastor, or rabbi. Victims are often vulnerable children who the perpetrator has unsupervised access to due to connections within the church, such as students of the church, youth group members and altar servers. Clergy sexual abuse can refer to many heinous sexual actions and crimes committed by religious leaders, including sexual touching, fondling, groping, kissing, child pornography, molestation, and rape.
An Overview of Current Cases Against Churches for Alleged Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse and assault lawsuits brought against churches and other religious institutions have become more common in recent years, largely due to Pope Francis requiring dioceses to release clergy abuse records and cover-ups. Attorneys have used these records to bring sexual abuse lawsuits against those responsible. This means not only individual perpetrators but also the larger religious institutions that allowed abuse to continue.
There are currently a number of current sexual abuse cases involving churches and clergy members that are still ongoing in California, including:
- A case against Orange County church volunteer Mark Allen Korando, Sr. for allegedly sexually assaulting minors that he was connected to through the church.
- The arrest of Pastor Jose Andres Lopez of Mission Viejo on suspicion of committing lewd acts against a 10-year-old child.
- Accusations against Father Edward Poettgen of the Orange County Diocese for the alleged molestation of a minor boy.
- A Saddleback Church youth mentor volunteer, Ruven Meulenberg, was charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child and two felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 in 2017.
- Sean Patrick Aday, a youth pastor at Grace Community Church of Saddleback Valley in Lake Forest, was arrested in 2015 for allegations of multiple sexual assault offenses against young women.
Manly, Stewart & Finaldi has years of experience handling cases involving various forms of clergy sexual abuse. We are prepared to go up against large and powerful religious institutions to fight for our clients, including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Diocese of San Diego, the Diocese of Fairbanks, the Diocese of San Bernardino, The Congregation of Christian Brothers and more.
What to Do if You Are a Survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse
If you, your child, or someone else that you know has suffered clergy sexual abuse at your church, report it to the authorities as soon as possible. Explain what happened and give the perpetrator’s name to the police. Report your suspicions to administrators at the religious institution, as well.
If you have any evidence of sexual abuse or assault, such as inappropriate messages sent to you by a priest or clergy member, keep it for your lawsuit later. Then, contact a sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights. An attorney who specializes in clergy sexual abuse can help you go up against one or more defendants in pursuit of justice and compensation.
Our Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers Can Help You | Contact Us Today
If you or someone you know is a victim of a sex offender within the clergy, do not hesitate to contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi for legal assistance. Our clergy sexual abuse attorneys can help you come forward with your story to local authorities and protect your legal rights throughout a civil lawsuit. We can keep your identity and case details confidential, if desired. Start with a free, zero-obligation case evaluation with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers. Call (855) 944-0710 or contact us online today.