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California Clergy Abuse

Many clergy sexual abuse victims have remained silent for years, suffering alone, unable to speak to others about what happened or seek legal remedy to hold the abuser accountable or protect other victims.

In recent years, many victims have stepped forward to uncover the abuse by clergy members and how Catholic church officials who looked the other way failed to take action to stop the abusive behavior immediately. Many clergy sexual abuse survivors come forward after years of suffering quietly.

Are you a victim of clergy abuse and seeking justice? Schedule a free case evaluation today with the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to facilitate a legal action. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call).

Our experienced team of legal representatives fights to protect children's and adults' rights and provide a safe place to talk about what happened. Our clergy abuse lawyers are ready to hear your story.

Our law firm understands the California tort law and uses the legal system to help child sexual abuse survivors seek justice through childhood sexual abuse cases.

California Catholic church clergy sexual abuse

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

705 Clergy Members in California Have Been Accused of Sexual Abuse.

Clergy sexual abuse by a religious leader can create lifelong physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wounds. Often, the abuse survivor faces unimaginable challenges when dealing with their trauma.

Any clergy member suspected of child or adult abuse and their employer (church officials) that covered up priest sexual abuse cases cannot be allowed to escape accountability for child sexual abuse allegations.

Our law firm can file sexual abuse claims to pursue compensation and injunctive relief through civil litigation while fighting for punitive damages. Arrange a free case evaluation.

California Clergy Abuse – The Problem Remains

Since the 1930s, the Roman Catholic leaders covered up accusations of sexual assault involving religious leaders and innocent adults and children.

Recent reports have identified sexually inappropriate events involving priests, pastors, bishops, brothers, and sisters of all religious orders molesting adults and children in their parish.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles paid a female childhood sexual abuse victim $500,000 to settle a case involving sexual molestation by a clergy member. The victim, who Father Santiago Tame had sexually assaulted, was one plaintiff included in the Archdiocese's 2007 $660 million settlement.

Some Catholic leaders have set up an independent compensation program to resolve sexual assault cases. Many assault survivors find peace in the justice of ensuring that the predator, religious leaders, and other clergy members are held accountable.

Filing a damage recovery claim through the independent compensation program can be complicated, requiring the legal assistance of an experienced abuse attorney that specializes in sexual injury cases.

Child Sexual Abuse in California

Clergy members accused of clergy abuse in California have been able to avoid justice for their crimes for far too long.

A clergy member in the San Bernardino diocese was recently arrested for sexual misconduct with a minor. The clergy member, Father James F. Chevedden, is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during confession.

Sexual misconduct committed in the Los Angeles diocese by the catholic priests totaled six percent of the total number of clergy members in the Roman Catholic diocese during a 50-year period ending in 2002.

Any religious institution implicated in clergy abuse in California may be required to pay damages to the victim under a new law.

The Statute of Limitations for Victims of Clergy Abuse

In January 2020, an LA Times article revealed six abuse lawsuits filed against the California Catholic Dioceses of San Diego involving sexual abuse committed decades ago by now-deceased religious leaders.

A victim sexually violated years ago has extended time past the old statute of limitations and can file an old claim until December 31, 2022.

Many new plaintiffs submitted their suits the day after the state legislature changed the civil statute of limitations (AB 218) that extended the time that sexually abused victims could file these types of lawsuits after the sexual abuse occurred.

California joined other nationwide jurisdictions, including New York and Pennsylvania, in changing time restrictions to help victims of childhood sexual file suits as adults.

The state law change expanded the minimum age a victim can file a claim alleging sexual assault by Catholic clergies from twenty-six years of age to forty.

The Child Victim Act Window Period

The Child Victims Act also allows a three-year window for California survivors of sexual abuse of any age to refile a claim that may have been previously prohibited when the statute of limitations expired from when they were victims of clergy sexual misconduct.

California child victims act applies to public and private entities, including schools, childcare providers, youth organizations, and churches.

The Cover-up and the Potential for More Clergy Abuse Lawsuits

Most child sexual abuse compensation lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic leaders and the abusive clergy members reveal a cover-up involving Catholic officials who turned a blind eye to the victims’ plight.

Legal officials believe the many newly submitted lawsuits by clergy abuse victims are just the tip of the iceberg of civil claims to be filed against Catholics, other religious institutions, and youth organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and the Mormon Church.

California Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

LA and Tucson Dioceses Facing Federal Racketeering Allegations in 2021

The LA Times reported in January 2021 that a RICO (federal racketeering) lawsuit was filed on December 31, 2020, against the Dioceses of Tucson and the Archdiocese of LA.

The lawsuit charges that the Roman Catholic Church in Tucson allegedly served as a "dumping ground" for religious sexual predators from the Los Angeles Archdiocese who abused children, teens, and others.

The Tucson Sentinel reported that "this is the 2nd major case after a recent change to state law gave sexual abuse victims more time to take their abusers and organizations that protected them to court."

Numerous lawsuits filed in Arizona court allege that Texas's church officials relocated allegedly abusive clergy members to Arizona. The Arizona state governor signed House Bill 2466 into law in 2019, giving victims of sexual misconduct additional time to file lawsuits in civil court.

Catholic Racketeering Charges

The Catholic leaders have faced racketeering charges before. Years ago, charges were made against the church for transferring "problem" clergy members from Ireland to other countries.

The recent charges allege that the Los Angeles Archdiocese knowingly exported priest and seminarian sexual predators and those suspected of sexual misconduct to Tucson to prey on Southern Arizona parishioners.

The relocations were meant to deny justice to California survivors of the sexual abuse.

Over the years, the LA and Tucson diocese have routinely compensated clergy sexual predators to travel and live outside the state to avoid criminal and civil prosecution.

The actions of Church officials had likely obstructed criminal investigations when they looked the other way, failed to report, and relocated known abusive clergy members to other dioceses.

California Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys

California Roman Catholic Dioceses

In California, Roman Catholics are the single largest religious group of all faiths statewide. The two archdioceses, twelve dioceses, and their Bishops manage more than 1270 parishes in fifty-eight counties across California (listed below).

Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg

1510 East Mountain St
Glendale, California 91207
armeniancatholic.org

Accused of Devastating Clergy Abuse:

  • Bishop Mikaël Mouradian

Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle

1627 Jamacha Way
El Cajon, CA 92019
Website: kaldu.org

Accused of Sexual Molestation:

  • Bishop Emanuel H. Shaleta
  • Bishop of Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle

California Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney

Diocese of Fresno

1550 North Fresno Street
Fresno, California 93707-3788
Website: dioceseoffresno.org

Accused of Sexual Molestation:

  • Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, Bishop of Fresno
  • Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop Emeritus of Fresno

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

3424 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2202
Website: la-archdiocese.org/

  • Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles
  • Bishop Alex Aclan
  • Bishop Robert Barron
  • Bishop Edward W. Clark
  • Bishop David G. O'Connell
  • Bishop Marc V. Trudeau
  • Bishop Thomas J. Curry
  • Bishop Alexander Salazar
  • Bishop Joseph M. Sartoris
  • Bishop Gerald E. Wilkerson
  • Bishop Gabino Zavala
  • Cardinal Roger M. Mahony

Diocese of Monterey

P.O. Box 2048
Monterey, California 93942
Website: dioceseofmonterey.org

Accused of Sexual Molestation:

  • Bishop Daniel E. Garcia
  • Bishop of Monterey
  • Bishop Sylvester D. Ryan
  • Bishop Emeritus of Monterey

Diocese of Oakland

2121 Harrison Street
Suite 100
Oakland, California 94612
Website: oakdiocese.org/

Accused of Sex Assault:

  • Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ Bishop of Oakland
  • Bishop John S. Cummins, Bishop Emeritus of Oakland

Diocese of Orange

Pastoral Center
13280 Chapman Avenue
Garden Grove, California 92840
rcbo.org

Accused of Sexual Molestation:

  • Bishop Kevin W. Vann
  • Bishop of Orange
  • Bishop Timothy E. Freyer
  • Bishop Thanh Thai Nguyen
  • Bishop Tod D. Brown
  • Bishop Emeritus of Orange

Diocese of Sacramento

2110 Broadway
Sacramento, California 95818
diocese-sacramento.org

Accused of Sexual Molestation:

  • Bishop Jaime Soto
  • Bishop of Sacramento
  • Bishop William K. Weigand

Diocese of San Bernardino

1201 E. Highland Avenue
San Bernardino, California 92404-5300
Website: sbdiocese.org

Accused of Clergy Abuse:

  • Bishop Gerald R. Barnes
  • Bishop of San Bernardino
  • Bishop Alberto Rojas
  • Coadjutor Bishop of San Bernardino
  • Bishop Rutilio J. del Riego

San Diego Diocese

P.O. Box 85728
San Diego, California 92186-5728

Accused of Clergy Abuse:

  • Bishop Robert W. McElroy
  • Bishop and Bishop Emeritus of San Diego
  • Bishop John P. Dolan
  • Bishop Robert H. Brom
  • Bishop Gilbert E. Chávez

Archdiocese of San Francisco

One Peter Yorke Way
San Francisco, California 94109
sfarchdiocese.org

Accused of Clergy Abuse:

  • Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone
  • Archbishop of San Francisco
  • Bishop William J. Justice
  • Bishop Ignatius C. Wang

Diocese of San Jose

1150 North 1st Street
Suite 100
San Jose, California 95112-4966
dsj.org

Accused of Clergy Abuse in San Jose:

  • Bishop Oscar Cantú
  • Bishop Patrick J. McGrath

Diocese of Santa Rosa

P.O. Box 1297
Santa Rosa, California 95402

Accused of Clergy Abuse:

  • Bishop of Santa Rosa
  • Bishop Robert F. Vasa
  • Bishop Daniel F. Walsh
  • Bishop Emeritus of Santa Rosa

Dioceses of Stockton

212 N. San Joaquin Street
Stockton, California 95202-2409
stocktondiocese.org

Accused of Clergy Abuse:

  • Bishop Myron J. Cotta
  • Bishop of Stockton

The Catholic Dioceses Implicated in Sexual Abuse in California

Diocese of Orange

Clergy abuse scandals in recent years have rocked the Orange diocese. In 2005, it paid $100 million to settle lawsuits filed by 55 people who accused priests of sexual abuse.

Priests accused of sexual misconduct in California have been able to move around freely and even stay in ministry, despite a state law that requires them to be publicly listed as sex offenders.

Authorities said that a California priest was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a minor in the 1980s.

Father Hector David Mendoza-Mendoza, 56, was taken into custody at his home in Huntington Park, about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Santa Rosa Diocese

On May 22, 2019, the Diocese was hit with three civil lawsuits alleging priests' sexual abuse of children. The lawsuits were filed in Sonoma County Superior Court on behalf of three men who say they were abused as minors by priests in the 1970s and 1980s.

A civil claim can be filed in California by anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse by a clergy member. The claim does not have to be filed against the church but can be filed against the individual perpetrator.

Fresno Diocese

Authorities said a former priest of the Fresno Diocese was arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a child.

The Rev. Jorge Ivan Cortes, 29, was taken into custody after an investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

According to a news release from the sheriff's office, he is accused of sexually abusing a child under the age of 14 over two years beginning in 2015.

Sacramento Diocese

Civil claims have been filed against the Sacramento Diocese and its bishops, alleging sexual abuse of children by priests. The Sacramento Bee has also published stories about the sexual misconduct of some priests.

The Rev. Oliver O'Grady, who worked in the diocese from 1971 to 1993, was convicted in 1994 of sexually abusing two boys in San Andreas.

Religious organizations in California have a history of sexual abuse scandals. The most recent and high-profile scandal involved the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.

In September 2018, it was revealed that the diocese had paid $1.75 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that four priests had sexually abused a teenage boy in the early 1990s.

Compensation Fund for Clergy Abuse Survivors

A compensation fund for victims of clergy sexual abuse has been set up by the state’s three largest Catholic dioceses.

The fund will be managed by an independent administrator and is open to anyone who was sexually violated by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Los Angeles, Orange, or the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The fund is not connected to any bankruptcy proceedings and will not affect compensation paid out through existing settlements.

California Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers

California Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers are Ready to Help

Our clergy sexual abuse attorneys network understands how difficult it is for clergy abuse survivors to speak out about what a shameful religious leader or other responsible parties did to them.

We know that the church uses its power to push back and say that what happened was not wrong. However, with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, on your side, you will never stand there alone when you seek justice after you have suffered abuse.

Our experienced California sexual abuse attorneys assist victims of child sexual abuse when they decide to take legal action against a predator clergy member and Catholic leaders or other religious workers.

Let an experienced attorney begin working on your clergy sexual abuse case today. Speak out now and file a civil lawsuit. An abuse attorney can help you take legal action as you try to get financial compensation for the child sex assault that you endured.

Contact our law firm now at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All information you share with our clergy abuse attorneys concerning your case will remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.

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