Colorado Clergy Abuse
While no religious organization in America is immune to child sexual abuse, the Catholic Church has had more than its share of victims sexually abused by priests.
In recent years, victims stepped forward to accuse Catholic priests, pastors, bishops, brothers, and sisters of inappropriate sexual conduct with them when they were underage minors.
Are you or your loved one a victim of clergy molestation? Schedule a free case evaluation today with the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC. Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form.
Our experienced team of legal representatives will fight to protect your legal rights. Our law firm understands Colorado tort law and uses the legal system to help child sexual abuse survivors seek justice through childhood sexual abuse cases.
Our clergy abuse lawyers are ready to hear your story in a private setting as we build a confidential attorney-client relationship. We can offer our legal services on contingency to avoid payment until our trial lawyers resolve your claim.
Child Sex Abuse in Colorado
Until the 1990s, the Church leaders in Colorado purged their sexual predator records or failed to record any allegations against religious leaders.
Some files back then cloaked the allegations in understatements describing Roman Catholic diocesan priests who raped young children as men having “boundary violations.”
In November 2019, the Denver Post noted that over 100 Catholic clergy members serving in Colorado were facing allegations of child sex abuse. The article indicated that forty-three clergy members had sexually abused more than 160 children over the last seven decades.
Lawmakers are considering extending the statute of limitations to allow survivors of sexual abuse more time to file claims and lawsuits against the clergy predators accused of sexual offenses.
The American Association of Justice recognizes child sexual exploitation as a “heinous crime,” often committed by individuals in positions of authority like Catholic leaders, priests, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, ministers, and parents.
Colorado Clergy Abuse
The Catholic Charities are one of the most trusted names in Colorado. They are a reliable resource for families in need, and they have been helping children and families for generations.
However, there have been allegations of clergy abuse within the charities, and these allegations have raised serious concerns about the safety of children and families who rely on the charities.
The Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal in Colorado is one of the most well-publicized examples of clergy abuse.
Recent Colorado Catholic Church Child Sexual Abuse Claims
In December 2020, the Colorado dioceses reported paying 70 sexually abused men and women $7.3 million to resolve many civil lawsuits. Many sex abuse survivors were harmed by priests and other Catholic employees in parishes throughout Colorado during their childhood.
Some of the settled state's clergy sexual assault claims date back more than 20 years. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser reported the conclusion of a 22-month investigation after the church set up a victims' financial compensation fund.
Clergy Sex Offenders
The Colorado Attorney General's investigation uncovered forty-six new child sexual abuse claims and identified nine clergy members as sexual offenders initially not included in the first report.
One newly named sex offender, Father Charles Woodrich, was previously nationally recognized for his work with the homeless community and served as editor of the Denver archdioceses’ newspaper.
The supplemental report revealed that the Catholic priest died in 1991 before facing clergy sexual molestation of children accusations involving three teenage boys.
Other clergy members from the Denver area were added to the accused childhood sexual predators list, including Father Kenneth Funk, Father Daniel Kelleher, Father James Moreno, and Father Gregory Smith.
In most cases, child sexual abuse began when the victim was a child and continued into their teenage years or adulthood.
Father James Moreno
Father James Moreno allegedly abused a student at St. Andrew's Prep Seminary High School between 1978 and 1982.
Alleged sexual predators from the Colorado Catholic Diocese of Pueblo include Monsignor Marvin Kapushion, Father Duane Repola, Father Carlos Trujillo, and Father Joseph Walsh.
Allegedly, Father Joseph Walsh sexually abused a young male orphan boy between 1951 and 1954 while the child lived at the Pueblo Sacred Heart Orphanage on ice cream trips and the rectory.
Father Harold Robert White
A Catholic priest in the Denver archdiocese has been accused of sexually abusing at least five boys. The abuse allegedly occurred in the 1970s and 1980s when White was assigned to churches in Denver and Boulder.
Father Leonard Abercrombie
Father Leonard Abercrombie was a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Denver. He was accused of sexually abusing children and young adults. In 2003, he pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual assault on a child and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He died in 2010.
Catholic Dioceses Implicated in Sexual Abuse in Colorado
Attorney Bob Troyer is handling the investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Colorado. Attorney General Weiser appointed Troyer to lead the investigation in 2019.
Three Colorado dioceses have released the names of abusive priests. According to the Denver Post, the list includes 46 priests who have been "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor.
Survivors of sex abuse in Colorado will have a two-year window to file lawsuits against their abusers, regardless of when the alleged priest abuse occurred.
Father Woody was known for working with the homeless and less fortunate and was nicknamed patron saint. His peers highly respected him. However, it was later revealed that he sexually abused children for years.
The Colorado dioceses should facilitate child abuse reporting. By providing a mechanism for reporting child abuse.
Priest Abuse in Denver Archdiocese
According to a report by the Denver Post, sexual misconduct by the clergy in the Denver archdiocese was rampant during the 1970s and 1980s.
Alleged Abuse by Catholic Priests in Colorado Springs Diocese
Childhood sexual abuse in Colorado by Catholic priests has been a persistent problem in the state for many years.
Priest abuse in the Colorado Springs diocese was first made public in the early 1990s. Colorado Springs has been home to some of the most notorious pedophile priests.
In 1992, Father Harold Robert White was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a young boy. Father White worked in the Colorado Springs diocese for over 20 years.
In 1994, another priest, Father Ronald Johnson, was also arrested and charged with child sex abuse.
In 2002, the diocese was again rocked by scandal when it was revealed that Father James Hancock had sexually abused at least four boys.
Priest Sexual Abuse in Pueblo Diocese
The Attorney General is investigating the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo after receiving complaints of sex abuse by the clergy.
The investigation comes after a recent report by the Colorado Independent that detailed years of child sex abuse by priests in the Pueblo diocese. The Pueblo diocese did not report the abuse to law enforcement.
According to the report, at least four priests in the Pueblo diocese have been credibly accused of sex abuse in the past decade. One of the priests, Father Leroy T. Schmidt, was arrested in 2016 on charges of sexual assault on a child.
The Holy Ghost Parish in Pueblo, Colorado, was also the site of significant priest abuse. In 1992, Father Arthur Perrault was arrested and charged with sexually abusing at least five boys. The Pueblo diocese waited eight years to tell parishioners that one of their priests was credibly accused of sex abuse.
Failure by The Church to Hold the Accused Priests Accountable
According to a new report, the religious order priests who sexually abused children in Colorado were not held accountable by their superiors.
The report, released by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), found that of the 46 priests who have been accused of sex abuse in Colorado, only four have been defrocked.
The Colorado Sun
According to the Colorado sun, between 1950 and 1999, at least 166 Catholic priests in Colorado were credibly accused of sex abuse.
The Devastating Effects of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault can cause lifelong devastation that negatively alters the victim’s well-being.
Children and adults who have been sexually assaulted can suffer from significant sleeping disorders, ongoing depression, substance abuse, self-injury, and suicide, including suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide).
Young children and teen sexually abused victims might develop negative eating habits, begin living an over-sexualized lifestyle, or engage in any form of risky behavior.
Clergy sexual molestation involving a Catholic priest engaging in inappropriate sexual activity with children often leaves the victims with lifelong psychological and emotional scars that take years to resolve in therapy.
Colorado Attorney General’s Office Investigation
In December 2020, the Colorado Attorney General’s office released a Special Master’s Supplemental Report stating that the Roman Catholic leadership continues to conceal sexual assault allegations against priests and other employees.
The 2019 Colorado Attorney General's Office investigation supplemental report follows the initial 2018 release about the Colorado Catholic leaders' scandal involving hundreds of childhood sex abuse claims and nine priests not previously identified as alleged abusers.
The 2019 Special Master’s Supplemental Report reveals that independent investigators working with the Attorney General's office conducted over 1,000 interviews with victims and identified more than 300 priests accused of being clergy sexual predators.
Over the past 20 years, the Archdiocese of Denver has received at least 243 claims against childhood sexual molestation.
Many of those allegations were made by young children and teenagers who reported their perverted experiences with priests and other employees to parents or authorities in Colorado and nationwide.
Attorney General Phil Weiser
Attorney General Phil Weiser has set up a special task force to investigate and prosecute cases of sexual misconduct by members of the clergy. Weiser says that the task force will help bring justice to victims of these crimes.
Expected Benefits of the Special Master’s Supplemental Report
The Supplemental Report on sexual abuse in Colorado, which the state attorney general released, identified 166 credible victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests in the state dating back to 1950.
The report brings accountability on behalf of the children who have been victimized and makes recommendations to help ensure Colorado dioceses protect children in the future.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Catholic Dioceses Agree to Bring the Abusive Colorado Priests to Justice
The agreement between the Attorney General's office and the three Roman Catholic dioceses in Colorado is the first in the state. It comes as clergy abuse scandals have rocked the Church.
Under the agreement announced Friday, the dioceses will release the names of all priests credibly accused of sexual abuse dating back to 1950. The Attorney General's office will then review the list
Child Protection Systems
Child protection systems have struggled to address clergy abuse for decades in Colorado.
A unique Colorado program is connecting clergy abuse victims with mental health services. The program is called “Connections,” It is the first of its kind in the state. The arrangement has allowed survivors to begin the long process of rebuilding their lives.
Having independent investigation systems is critical in identifying and bringing to justice those who perpetrate child sexual abuse. The Colorado law requiring the reporting of abuse by clergy members went into effect in 2002.
The victim assistance coordinators are available to talk with anyone who may have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, or someone representing the Catholic denomination.
Regular third-party audits of the Catholic Church's safe environment programs are now mandatory in Colorado, following a new law passed in response to clergy sex abuse scandals.
How a Child Sexual Abuser Lures a Victim
A child sex abuser often grooms their victim; the clergy member may take on a mentoring relationship with the child or teenager. They may spend time one-on-one with the child, buy them gifts, and make them feel special. The abuser will also try to isolate their victim from anyone who could potentially expose what’s happening.
The Colorado Department of Justice
The Colorado Department of Justice is investigating reports of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members in Colorado dioceses.
Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers are Ready to Help Sexual Abuse Victims
Our network of child sexual abuse lawyers knows your challenges in talking about the unspeakable actions that a clergy member did to you.
We know the Church pushes back with its wielding power saying nothing wrong happened to victims, primarily when the child sexual abuse occurred decades ago.
However, with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, on your side, you will not face them alone. All those responsible for your sexual abuse will listen to your shocking story at trial or when settling your case.
Our legal team accepts all sexual abuse cases involving a Catholic priest on a contingency fee basis. We do not receive payment for our legal services until we win your case at trial or negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Our Denver trial lawyers will successfully resolve your case, obtain financial compensation, and protect your legal rights. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757.