Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Monterey
Clergy sexual abuse is a prevalent problem that has gained more attention in recent years due to the mandated release of diocese sex abuse records. These records revealed that thousands of sexual assault and abuse complaints made against members of the clergy had been covered up by dioceses and those high up in the religious order.
At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we are passionate about helping survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Monterey and throughout California. Our Monterey sexual abuse attorneys will stand by your side in the fight for justice against a religious institution. We can handle cases involving priests, rabbis, bishops and other members of the clergy who have sexually assaulted and abused their parishioners. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
What Is Clergy Sexual Abuse?
Clergy sexual abuse refers to many different types of sex crimes, sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviors committed by members of a clergy. It can refer to any type of sexual activity with a child or member of the church, including child molestation, child pornography, exhibitionism, inappropriate touching, groping, fondling, kissing, rape, penetration, sodomy and statutory rape.
Clergy sexual abuse often targets children, whom priests and other adults at the church can groom – or prepare from an early age – for sexual abuse. Since parents generally trust members of the clergy to be alone with their children, this puts kids at a high risk of being sexually abused. Pedophiles take advantage of their positions of power over young parishioners for their own criminal purposes. However, adults may also be taken advantage of by their priests or church leaders.
What Are Your Rights as a Survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse in Monterey?
Many priests and clergymen have been accused of sexual abuse and misconduct in the Diocese of Monterey. In 2019, the Catholic Diocese of Monterey released a list of 30 clergymen with credible sexual abuse complaints against them, with incidents dating back to the 1950s. The most recent incident was in 2013, involving a man who is now deceased (Reverend Thomas Neary). The most recent allegation against a living person was Reverend Gilbert Meyer in 2010.
If you are a clergy sexual abuse survivor in Monterey, you have rights. You or your lawyer can bring a lawsuit against not only the individual who assaulted you but the larger religious establishment, as well. A diocese has a responsibility to protect parishioners from sex crimes and sexual misconduct by religious leaders, such as by reporting incidents to the police. If a diocese failed to keep you safe, we can help you hold it responsible for what happened to you.
Partnering with the right attorney can strengthen your legal claim and make your experience more positive as a survivor. The lawyers at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi have gone up against multiple dioceses in California on behalf of clients and won. We achieved a $660 million global settlement in John Doe v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Los Angeles, for example, and a $216 million settlement for sexual abuse claims against the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Clergy Sexual Abuse Case in California?
Whether your incident of clergy sexual abuse occurred recently or decades ago, you may still be able to hold the church accountable through legal action. AB-218 was recently passed in California to extend the statute of limitations, or filing deadline, for survivors of child sex abuse.
As of now, you have until age 40 or 5 years from the date that you discover your mental illness is connected to child sexual abuse to file a related civil lawsuit (whichever is later). If you were sexually abused by a clergyman as an adult, you have 10 years from the date of the incident or 3 years from the date of discovery to file.
Request Your Free Consultation in Monterey Today
It takes tremendous courage to come forward about a case of clergy sexual abuse in Monterey. At Manly, Stewart & Finaldi, we aim to make this process as painless, stress-free and rewarding as possible for you as a survivor. If you wish to keep your identity confidential throughout the legal process, for example, we will ensure your privacy. Discuss your case in more detail today during a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers. We look forward to hearing from you.