Diocese of Fresno Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Clergy sexual abuse is a terrible crime that can impact survivors forever. When a member of the clergy takes advantage of a position of trust to sexually abuse and assault parishioners, the psychological effects on survivors can last a lifetime. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we work hard to bring criminal members of the clergy to justice in the Diocese of Fresno. We believe sexual abuse and actions by the Diocese to cover it up are unacceptable. Contact us today for more information about your case.

Why Choose Manly, Stewart & Finaldi?

  • Our peers regard us as California’s leading law firm for sexual abuse cases. Our lead attorney has earned recognition in Super Lawyers and as one of California’s Top 100 Attorneys by the Los Angeles Journal.
  • Our lawyers understand sexual abuse is an ongoing crisis and do everything they can to combat these brutal crimes. We have dedicated our careers to helping sex abuse survivors.
  • Our law firm has extensive experience helping sexual abuse survivors. We have assisted more than 150 survivors of sexual abuse with claims in California over the past 20 years.

When to Call a Clergy Abuse Attorney

We always recommend hiring an attorney with experience specifically handling sexual abuse cases. Otherwise, your lawyer may not know how to handle your claim for the best possible results. When you hire the right lawyer, he or she will make you feel heard. A lawyer from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi will listen to your story during a confidential initial consultation. Then, we will handle all the legal legwork of your case while you focus on trying to heal.

Sexual Abuse in the Diocese of Fresno

As of 2019, at least 14 priests in the Diocese of Fresno have been publically accused of sexual abuse.

First Last Status
John Bradley Sued
Tod D. Brown (Bp) Accused
Hermy Dave O. Ceniza Suez
James Collins (in Fresno) Sued
Raul Diaz Accused
John Esquivel Accused
Miguel Flores Acquitted
Benjamin Gabriel Sued
Robert Gamel Sentenced
Louis Aloysius Garcia Convicted
Craig Harrison Accused
Anthony G. Herdegen Settled
Vincent A. O’Connell Sued
Eric Swearingen Sued

Even if your abuser does not appear on this list, you may have legal options.

What Is the Independent Compensation Program? Should You Join?

On May 14th, 2019, six California Dioceses – including the Diocese of Fresno – announced the creation of a new type of compensation program for survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The Dioceses of Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego came together to create a fund they will use to compensate eligible survivors for credible cases of sexual assault. The program is voluntary and available to anyone who has not already obtained a settlement or verdict for clergy sexual abuse in the past. The Independent Compensation Program does not have a statute of limitations. All participants must simply file their claims by March 31st, 2020.

While eligible survivors can receive compensatory awards within two weeks of approved claims, the amounts of these settlements are far less than what the law might entitle them to receive through a civil lawsuit. Once you accept a compensatory award from the Independent Compensation Program, you can no longer file a lawsuit against the Diocese of Fresno. Before you file a claim with the program, therefore, discuss all your legal options with one of our attorneys.

California Recently Extended the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse

Due to a new bill that recently passed into law in California hundreds of sexual abuse survivors may now have the opportunity to file civil lawsuits despite previously passed deadlines. According to Assembly Bill No. 218, plaintiffs now have 22 years from the age of majority (18 years old) to file their claims, rather than the previous deadline of 8 years from the age of 18. In other words, sexual assault and abuse survivors now have until age 40 instead of 26 to file. The extended deadline means many people who may not have had the ability to file claims may now do so in California. If you are one of them, speak to a lawyer from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi about your case right away.

Contact a Diocese of Fresno Sexual Abuse Attorney Today

If you or a loved one is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse by a member of the Diocese of Fresno, we can provide the support you need during this difficult time. We understand California’s sexual abuse laws and keep up with the latest compensation opportunities for survivors. Let us help you bring the perpetrator, the Diocese and other parties that may have facilitated sexual abuse to justice. Please contact us today.