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NYC Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Morgan & Morgan represents survivors of priest abuse throughout the United States to hold clergy accountable for misusing their positions of supreme authority. If you need an NYC priest abuse lawyer, turn to the experienced team of attorneys at Morgan & Morgan that pursue justice for victims that suffer from trauma, shame, and embarrassment.
Sexual abuse committed by a priest produces prolonged mental, physical, and emotional pain. Clergy sexual abuse violates the trust of vulnerable children that silently carry their pain for decades to come. The survivors of clergy abuse have difficulty maintaining personal and professional relationships, as well struggle with vocational progress throughout their lives.
Up until a few years ago, many survivors of clergy abuse kept quiet about their horrific ordeals. Growing publicity, as well as several favorable judgments on the behalf of plaintiffs, have started to turn the tide in the favor of the victims that suffer from clergy abuse. A growing number of the brave survivors have taken legal action to hold priests and the churches they represent accountable for their illegal behavior.
Morgan & Morgan dedicates a team of litigators to handle clergy sex abuse lawsuits. Our dogged pursuit of the truth helps clients win favorable legal judgments that they would not have won on their own. When you meet with an NYC priest sexual abuse lawyer, you speak with an attorney that brings compassion and empathy to the table. We understand how painful it can be for a survivor of sexual abuse, especially when it involves a member of the clergy.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to determine a strategy to fight back against priest sexual abuse.
Morgan & Morgan
What Is Priest Sexual Abuse?
Priest sexual abuse represents an unlawful act that involves a sexual encounter with a minor. The term “clergy” refers to a number of different authority figures in the Catholic Church, including priests, bishops, and monsignors. Nuns and cardinals also have faced accusations of clergy sexual abuse. The abuse of a minor that is sexual refers to causing the minor intentional harm. Forms of priest sexual abuse include exposure, fondling, and intercourse, as well as making obscene statements over the phone and through digital devices.
Although many of the cases of priest sexual abuse settle out of court, the act of sexually abusing a minor can be litigated as both a civil and criminal case. When you meet with one of the clergy sexual abuse attorneys from Morgan & Morgan, the lawyer decides how to move forward with a civil case and file criminal charges. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve, while an attorney who handles criminal cases wants the priest who harmed you to be held accountable for committing one or more sex crimes.
What Are the Long-Term Negative Effects of Priest Sexual Abuse?
Victims of priest sexual abuse can suffer from a lifetime's worth of physical, mental, and emotional pain. The physical trauma of sexual abuse includes contusions, genital injuries, and sexually transmitted diseases. Mental and emotional trauma can produce long-term depression symptoms that include frequent thoughts of suicide. Victims might suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which requires long-term intensive therapy just to mitigate the symptoms. You might develop an anxiety disorder that hampers your professional development, as well as the development of healthy personal relationships. Eating disorders are a common adverse effect of being a victim of priest sexual abuse.
What Is the Legal Recourse for Priest Sexual Abuse?
Victims of priest sexual abuse speak out against their attackers for different reasons. Perhaps you want closure to move on with your life. Maybe you want to force the Catholic Church to address what appears to be a rapidly out-of-control issue. The priest sexual abuse attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have worked with clients that want to prevent future sexual abuse cases from harming other minors that are a part of the church.
For whatever reason why you want to seek justice, you can count on Morgan & Morgan to provide you with legal and emotional support to get through what invariably is a difficult journey. You can expect to receive advice on how to deal with the pain of being a victim of sexual abuse, especially when it was committed by someone in a position of authority. With the utmost integrity and transparency, your legal counsel guides you through the process until you get justice for the sex crimes committed against you.
An NYC priest sexual abuse lawyer can help you seek justice in three different ways.
The primary goal of your NYC priest sexual abuse lawyer is to help you receive just compensation that covers the cost associated with being a victim of priest sexual abuse. Economic damages cover the costs associated with tangible expenses, such as lost wages and medical bills. Victims of sexual abuse suffer from a wide variety of physical ailments that require treatment and physical therapy sessions to heal. You have the right to seek compensation for the cost of diagnostic tests, as well as the value of prescription medications and the use of an assistive device.
Non-economic damages do not come with a price tag. Instead, non-economic damages cover the costs associated with emotional distress and loss of consortium. Since a victim of priest sexual abuse can suffer significant emotional distress, the amount of money awarded for pain and suffering might be higher than the financial award for economic damages. Your NYC priest sexual abuse attorney calculates a value for pain and suffering by referring to a formula that is based on the value of economic damages.
If recent lawsuits are any indication, both judges and juries are highly sympathetic to the mental and emotional issues that develop for victims of priest sexual abuse. The result has been the awarding of substantial judgments for punitive damages, which penalize a defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence. In the cases of priest sexual abuse, the negligence is considered gross negligence because priests are in positions of power in which they have a legal duty of care to protect all parishioners against harm.
Getting Injunctive Relief
Injunctive relief represents a legal term in which a court requires a defendant to take certain actions to prevent future occurrences of the same type of event. For a priest sexual abuse case, you can ask the judge or jury hearing your case to require the Catholic Church to take steps that prevent future incidents of priest sexual abuse. The injunctive relief can include forcing the Catholic Church to do a better job of screening potential candidates for joining the clergy, as well as running public information campaigns that educate parishioners about the warning signs of child sexual abuse.
Although the Catholic Church has agreed to settle hundreds of child sexual abuse cases by paying victims, the Catholic Church has been less agreeable to giving injunctive relief. Working with an experienced NYC priest sexual abuse lawyer from Morgan & Morgan can help you get an injunctive relief order followed through by the Catholic Church.
Cooperate During a Criminal Prosecution
Some allegations of priest sexual abuse result in the filing of criminal charges. Filing a civil lawsuit does not prevent you from filing criminal charges as well. The third legal recourse involved in fighting back against priest sexual abuse is to provide testimony during a criminal trial. You not only provide testimony against the primary defendant, but you also detail accounts of how other members of the clergy turned their backs on the priest sexual abuse that you suffered.
The team of NYC priest sexual abuse lawyers from Morgan & Morgan helps clients navigate the civil lawsuit process, as well as the stages that comprise a criminal trial. Cooperating during a criminal trial requires coordination between criminal prosecutors and our team of NYC priest sexual abuse attorneys.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Priest Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit refers to how much time you have to initiate a lawsuit. For most civil lawsuits, the statute of limitation is based on the number of years you have to take legal action. For example, personal injury cases typically have a statute of limitations that runs between two and four years. However, filing a priest sexual abuse civil lawsuit follows a different model for establishing the statute of limitations.
Recent steps taken by the Governor of New York and the New York legislature give victims of priest sexual abuse more time to file a civil lawsuit and criminal charges. In New York, priest sexual abuse victims have until they turn 23 years old to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. You have until you turn 53 years old to file criminal charges against a member of the clergy.
Although you have plenty of time to file a civil lawsuit and criminal charges, you should take legal action as soon as possible to help your recover from financial losses, as well as heal the mental and emotional wounds caused by priest sexual abuse.
How Do I Find an NYC Priest Sexual Abuse Attorney?
You should consider several criteria when searching for an NYC priest sexual abuse lawyer. First, you want the support of a team of litigators that have worked on priest sexual abuse cases. Going up against the powerful Catholic Church requires the experience of litigators that understand how to negotiate settlements, as well as balance the workload between a civil lawsuit and criminal trial.
The legal counsel you hire to represent you must demonstrate the level of compassion and empathy required to help you regain mental and emotional strength. At Morgan & Morgan, we have received positive feedback from hundreds of former clients that praise us for our compassion and empathy. There are going to be days that you do not feel up to facing your abuser, which means you want to work with an NYC priest sexual abuse lawyer who detects the signs of mental and emotional distress.
Get the Legal Support You Deserve
The publicity given to the growing number of priest sexual abuse cases has motivated more victims to reach out and discuss their case with an experienced attorney from Morgan & Morgan. If you were sexually abused by a priest, or any member of the clergy for that matter, act with a sense of urgency by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of our NYC priest sexual abuse lawyers.