Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
BBB Accredited Business

Arkansas Clergy Abuse

Arkansas Attorneys Investigating Sexual Assault Claims Against the Roman Catholic Church Archdioceses

Are you the victim of sexual abuse in Arkansas at the hands of a clergy member? Have you remained silent over what occurred? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our law firm serves as legal advocates to child victims of sexual molestation and handles all civil claims, including clients involved in abuse occurring decades ago.

Call our experienced church abuse attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with our law firm to seek justice and recover compensation. All sensitive information you discuss with your Arkansas clergy abuse lawyer will remain private through an attorney-client relationship.

The Lifelong Struggles of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Child survivors of sexual abuse by clergy members and priests often experience lifelong struggles involving depression, alcoholism, social anxiety, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidal ideation. The damage inflicted by an abusive religious leader on a young developing boy or girl is nearly immeasurable.

Sadly, clergy abuse is only now becoming well-documented as a legal record due to media scrutiny and the release of "secret files" held by Church officials not interested in the damaging effects that the child sexual abuse by priests caused the victims.

For decades, the sexually abused have remained silent against the Church and other religious organizations that covered up what happened.

Are you or your loved one a child sexual abuse victim? The compassionate network of affiliate attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can provide immediate legal assistance in holding the sexual predator and religious organizations financially accountable for their despicable acts.

Our law firm cares and understands the pain you are feeling and the bravery it takes to speak openly about what occurred. In addition, our child abuse lawyers are ready to hear your story.

Arkansas Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Sexual Assault Involving Clergy Is Still a Problem

The level of shame Church officials caused should be immense because they hid "secret files" from the public and law enforcement for decades.

Instead, the Vatican, Cardinals, Bishops, pastors, priests, and other ecclesiastical members have gone to great lengths to protect pedophile priests, knowing that their child sex abuse victims would find it impossible to hold the Church and the predators accountable.

However, the legal system has fought hard to change the previous statute of limitation laws to now allow adult victims of sex abuse during their childhood to come forward and remove the shield that clergy pedophiles have hidden behind for years.

Today, survivors of child sex abuse who cannot forget the horrific experience can force pedophiles and Church officials to face the consequences of their unacceptable actions.

Unfortunately, many despicable cases of childhood sexual abuse in Arkansas have occurred in numerous religious institutions, including the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, Baptist Church, Judaism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

These incidents happen in many religious schools, seminaries, parishes, churches, synagogues, retreats, summer camps, the confessional, religious counseling, and other extracurricular activities sponsored by religious institutions.

The Devastating Effects of A Sexual Abuse Act

Unfortunately, child sexual abuse occurring in the Catholic Dioceses is all too common, victimizing men, women, teens, and young children. The victims are often subjected to rape, incest, child molestation, non-consensual sexual abuse, and non-consensual inappropriate physical contact.

Women and girls sexually assaulted by a diocesan priest and other active ministry clergy members are often labeled as promiscuous, uninhibited, immoral, or seeking men's attention. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Religious leaders abuse most adult and child abuse victims because of the predator's access to their prey and the community's confidence that the clergy member could be trusted.

According to the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services statistics, approximately 10% of the clergy abuse and neglect victims who were sexually abused were 11 years old and younger.

Sadly, the consequences of child sex abuse can lead to severe problems through the victim's developmental stages that include:

  • Sexual behavior problems
  • Anger and aggression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social maladjustment
  • Distrusting others
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • Sleep behavior problems
  • Neurological changes
  • Delinquency
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Teen pregnancy
  • High risk of sexual behavior
  • Strained family relationships
  • Social isolation behavior
  • Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders
  • Self-mutilation behavior
  • Blood-borne infections and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Sexual revictimization
  • Attempted suicide and suicidal ideation (thinking of suicide)

Arkansas Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney

The Sexually Abused

In May 2019, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a list identifying the American priests accused of sexually abusing children, dating back decades. Statistics reveal that 5.9% (7002) of the 118,184 priests working for the Church had been accused of abusing children.

At least fourteen active ministry clergy members have been added to the BishopAccountability.org list, including five from the 2018 and 2020 updates, charged with alleged clergy sexual abuse in Arkansas. Just a few of these include:

Father Patrick Cannon

In January 2020, the Subiaco Abbey Benedictines added Reverend Hannon to their list of credibly accused priests with allegations of sexual abuse.

The list identifies the allegations of abuse in Arkansas occurring as early as the 1950s while Hannon was at Saint Benedict's in Subiaco before being transferred to the Diocese of Columbus and Diocese of Little Rock.

Father Patrick Cannon passed away in December 1994 without ever being held accountable under the criminal statute of limitations.

Father Jeremy Myers

Local authorities claim that a former Arkansas priest allegedly sexually assaulted an underage boy numerous times in Texas and Arkansas. At least one child was sexually assaulted while the Reverend worked in Logan County at a Catholic school for boys.

Reports indicate that the assault allegedly began in 1986 in Logan County, at the Subiaco Academy when Father Jeremy Myers served as the school's Dean to Students, two years after his ordination into the priesthood.

Legal affidavits state that the assault continued when the underage male visited Reverend Myers in Texas. Allegations arose as Myers, now in his 60s, was assigned to St. Mary's Parish in Sherman, Texas, where the Church employed the Reverend for over 20 years.

The clergy abuse victim stated that Reverend Myers allegedly "seem to like him and would come to his defense any time he got in trouble," giving him extra privileges. The victim stated that the first inappropriate conduct happened after the Reverend allowed the boy into his room.

Although the all-boys Catholic school expelled the victim during a sophomore year, Myers allowed the child to live with him in Dallas, where he would sexually assault the boy at the rectory.

Reverend Joseph Correnti

Father Joseph Correnti's name appears for the first time on the September 2018 updated clergy abuse list from the Little Rock Diocese publicly accusing the Reverend of sexually abusing two known victims.

In April 2002, Correnti committed suicide. Four other clergy members were added that year in other cases involving the Reverend and numerous other victims.

One victim filed a civil lawsuit in August 2019, claiming that the Reverend had sexually abused him as a boy starting in 1995 when he was 14 years old, until 2002. The lawsuit documents reveal that there were at least five known victims.

In August 2020, a sixth man accused Reverend Correnti of sexually assaulting him as an altar boy when he was 13 or 14 years old, around 1983 or 1984. The sexual abuse lawsuit affidavits indicate that the Arkansas priest allegedly forced the underage male to engage in oral and anal sex on multiple occasions.

One document reveals that another priest discovered the boy in the Reverend's living quarters, chastised the sexually assaulted boy, and took no further action against the religious, sexual predator. The Catholic Dioceses of Little Rock and the Archdioceses settled a lawsuit out of court.

Arkansas Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys

Updated Statute of Limitation Laws

In May 2021, the Arkansas State Legislature passed a new law extending the statute of limitations on childhood sex abuse cases statewide. The Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act (Act 1036) extends the statute of limitations to file civil lawsuits from 21 to 55 years old.

The change in the law means that a sexual molestation victim now has until they are 55 years old to file lawsuits in Arkansas.

The law also adds a two-year revival "look back" period until the end of 2021. The extension of the civil statute of limitations means that nearly anyone, at any age, maintains their rights to bring action against the perpetrator, religious institution, or other religious organizations whose negligence or other tortuous acts allowed the sexual abuser to prey on children.

The change in the law will affect the Church and other religious organizations and groups, including the Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and other youth groups.

Some groups and religious organizations have remained deeply saddened by the despicable acts and the pain and suffering endured by survivors of child sexual abuse. However, many failed to take legal action to ensure that victims are compensated for what their abusers did.

Get Justice Now for Child Sexual Abuse

In June 2019, the Little Rock Diocese paid approximately $800,000 to five male defendants who alleged that a parish priest sexually assaulted them when they were boys during the 1970s.

The victims had filed a claim alleging the assault occurred when they were students at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church in Little Rock. In Arkansas, the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock agreed to pay the Holy Souls child abuse victims $790,000 to settle the case out of court.

The claim document stated that complainants were between twelve and fifteen years old when the sexual abuse occurred on campus. Records indicate that witnesses had seen the perpetrator, Father John J. McDaniel, take the underage males to his bedroom in the Little Rock church rectory.

The parish's insurance coverage of $250,000 (the policy limit at the time of the clergy abuse) paid out a portion of the settlement, and the Diocese of Little Rock insurance fund paid out the remainder of the agreement.

Arkansas Roman Catholic Church Diocese

In Arkansas, the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock and its Bishop manage more than 132 parishes statewide (listed below). The Little Rock church provides services to more than 120,000 Catholics living in seventy-five counties.

Arkansas Dioceses

Roman Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
2500 N Tyler St
Little Rock, AR 72207
Bishop: Anthony Taylor
(501) 664-0340

Arkansas Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Arkansas Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers Are Here to Help

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our clergy sexual abuse attorneys understand the challenges you face when discussing the vile actions of what a clergy member did to you. However, we know the power of the Catholic Dioceses of Little Rock in their continuing to fight back, saying nothing happened about the children of sexual abuse in Arkansas.

Let an experienced Little Rock, Arkansas, clergy abuse lawyer open your financial compensation case today. Your actions can ensure that no one else will ever be sexually assaulted by the religious authority in Little Rock again.

Additionally, we will protect your rights, provide legal advice to resolve your civil claim successfully, and ensure you recover compensation for your damages. Contact us now at (888) 424-5757. All information you share during an initial, free consultation concerning your legal options will remain confidential.

Our law firm accepts all personal injury civil lawsuits through a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures you pay nothing until we resolve your civil claims through a negotiated agreement or jury trial verdict. Contact our law firm regarding your legal options today.

Resources:

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
★★★★★
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
★★★★★
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
★★★★★
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa