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

Connecticut Clergy Abuse

Attorneys for Catholic Church and Priest Sexual Abuse Cases

Many sexual abuse victims come forward after years of suffering quietly. Are you or your loved one a victim of Connecticut clergy sexual abuse?

If so, 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).

Our experienced team of legal representatives will fight to protect your rights and provide a safe place to talk about what happened. Our clergy abuse lawyers are ready to hear your story in a confidential, private setting.

criminal statutes
Clergy accused of sexual abuse in Connecticut

Clergy Accused Of Sexual Abuse In Connecticut

In recent years, stories of the horrific pattern of abuse in the three dioceses of Connecticut are beginning to emerge as well as in parishes and schools throughout the United States. Many victims suffered sexual violations at the hands of Connecticut clergy members, and the religious organization looked the other way.

Despite the best efforts of the Catholic Church to keep these reports of the sexual abuse crisis secret for decades, the public is beginning to understand the full scope of what happened in the parishes and parochial schools with Catholic clergy.

The Catholic dioceses are now being held accountable for the sexual exploitation of its clergy members that it covered up for decades.

Sexual abuse survivors can make the church pay for the actions of clergy and their failure to take action in the face of numerous reports of misconduct.

Why Sexual Abuse Victims Need an Abuse Lawsuit Attorney

In Connecticut, the diocese’s lawyers do not always settle a civil suit and try to find as many ways as they can to protect the Church.

To file the most effective civil lawsuit possible against the Catholic religious leaders, you may need abuse injury lawyers on your side. Call our law firm today to find out how we can help you.

When dealing with child sexual injury events, we can help even if the abuse may have occurred decades ago. To resolve the case, you will need the help of a Connecticut clergy sexual abuse lawyer to work with you to hold the church and child sexual abuser accountable.

Our sexual abuse lawyers understand the pain and trauma involved in cases addressing the trauma of the sexually violated. Our personal injury law firm will listen in a confidential setting to what happened so we can start the legal process.

All of our child sex abuse cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, where we only charge a legal fee when we are successful in obtaining a financial settlement for you.

Connecticut Roman Catholics

In Connecticut, the Catholic Church consists of the Archdiocese of Hartford and the dioceses of Norwich and Bridgeport. In the Hartford Archdiocese alone, there are 470,000 Catholics, 500 clergy members, and 216 parishes.

In the Bridgeport church jurisdiction, there are over 400,000 Catholics spread across 82 parishes. There are just over 225,000 Catholics in the Diocese of Norwich.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Settlements in Connecticut

Even the list of credibly accused abusers that the CT Catholic leaders published did not fully reveal the scope of the sexual abuse scourge in the organization. An analysis done by the Associated Press revealed that over 900 accused abusers were left off of the list.

The Roman Catholic diocese used a conservative interpretation of the term “credible accuser” to favor the clergy members at the expense of the general public, that has a right to know Hartford clergy has been accused of sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of Hartford has paid out over $50 million to settle lawsuits filed against it by sexually abused victims. In Hartford, the scandals went beyond clergy members and doctors at Catholic hospitals.

For example, the Church settled numerous abuse lawsuits connected to the actions of Dr. George Reardon, who was accused of molesting several patients. Many new personal injury sexual violation cases are being filed against the Archdiocese of Hartford and other dioceses throughout the state.

In the early 2000s, several cases were filed against the Hartford Archdiocese. In 2005, the Archdiocese entered into a $22 million settlement of forty-three sexual abuse lawsuits that stemmed from the actions of fourteen priests.

Recent Archdiocese of Hartford Catholic Priest Child Sexual Abuse Settlement

In May 2021, the Hartford Archdiocese settled a civil lawsuit involving a credible accusation of child sexual abuse against a Manchester priest and teacher at East Catholic High School.

A 53-year-old Connecticut man accused former Rev. Kenneth Bonadies of sexually abusing him as a young boy in the 1980s. At the time, the sexual assault survivor was an East Catholic High School student.

The priest began sexually assaulting the teenage boy in 1989 while serving as the St. Bartholomew Church priest and Manchester. The Reverend also taught Latin and music at East Catholic high school and was Director of the choir and school theatre.

Father Bonadies was ordained in 1965. Church leaders assigned the Rev. to numerous parishes in Ohio's Steubenville diocese until he was placed on leave in 1975 for four years until he was relocated in 1980 to St. Bartholomew Church.

Accused Priests With Series of Child Sexual Violation Allegations

In 1987, Church leaders transferred Bonadies to Hamden St. Ann Parish, where he was employed until 2004 when he retired. Church records indicate that at least one other person accused Bonadies of sexual molestation, and there is a pending civil court case to resolve that alleged victim's claims.

Adding Father Bonadies to the list raises the number of credible allegations involving reverends, teachers, and other religious leaders to forty-nine in the Archdiocese. One of those Catholic priests had 20 credible accusations made against him.

Child Sex Settlement Shrouded in Secrecy

The Hartford Archdiocese resolved the sexual assault claim out of court for "low six figures," citing their policy of not discussing any settlement or legal matter.

The Dioceses of Bridgeport Scandal

Some of the spotlight on statewide clergy sexual abuse cases resulted from a 2009 Connecticut Supreme Court order requiring the release of thousands of legal documents and court case records from lawsuits filed against the Catholic officials in the state.

The state court ruling resulted from numerous sexual molestation lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport.

Many people will recognize the name Cardinal Edward Egan, the previous Archbishop of New York and prominent Catholic clergy official. Before his New York assignment, Egan was the head of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Cardinal Egan Apologizes for Inaction but Retracts the Apology

Twenty-three lawsuits were filed against the Church and settled during his time in that position. After leaving the Diocese of Bridgeport, Cardinal Egan apologized for his lack of action in investigating and handing over evidence about credibly accused Connecticut clergy predators to law enforcement.

However, he later retracted his apology, claiming that he did everything right. The situation in the Diocese of Bridgeport was so bad that there was legislation proposed that would have stripped the bishop’s control of the diocese.

A 2019 judicial report states that Bridgeport bishops failed to fulfill their “moral and legal responsibilities” in handling sexual abuse allegations that harmed many victims. The Bridgeport diocese report even found that then-Bishop Egan took a threatening attitude towards child sexual abuse survivors.

The Victims Lobbying For Action Bear Fruits

In 2019, the victims’ efforts resulted in the Diocese of Norwich publishing a list of Roman Catholic diocesan priests who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse of a minor. This list consisted of a total of forty-three religious order priests.

Religious Order Priests Credibly Accused of Child Sex Abuse in Diocese of Norwich

You can report sexual abuse of a minor in the diocese of Norwich to the state of Connecticut department of children and families by calling 1-800-842-2288, or you can visit their website to make a report online.

Filling civil claims for child sex abuse of a minor in the diocese of Norwich has been temporarily halted as the state's Supreme Court reviews a ruling that the church must make public the names of all priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

The criminal statute of limitations on child sexual violations in the Norwich diocese was extended in 2002, 2003, and 2019.

The Statute of Limitations in Connecticut for Bringing a Child Sex Abuse Case

Child sexual violation claims, like other types of personal injury matters, must be filed within a time constraint known as the statute of limitations. After the statute of limitations expires, taking legal action can result in your case being dismissed, and you will not recover any compensation.

Consequently, you should consult with an experienced sexual violations lawyer so he or she can examine the circumstances of your case and determine the time frame for filing a case.

Chapter 926 Sec 52-577d of Connecticut law gives the statute of limitations for adults to file sex abuse cases they suffered as children.

The abuse victims have until 30 years (their 51st birthday) after they reach the age of adulthood to file a lawsuit for misconduct against the child sexual abuse predator and any organization or group that may have been responsible or participated in the sexual abuse cover-up.

Last year, the state General Assembly changed the child sexual abuse recovery law and added three additional years to the period where sex abuse adults and children may submit a claim for tangible damages, pain, and suffering. The law also lifted the age restriction for filing a claim in the years after the sexually assaulted victim was injured.

Court’s Application of the 30-Year Statute of Limitations

State courts retroactively applied the 30-year statute of limitations for abuse before 2002. The Church tried to fight the legal filing extension in court, but the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld decisions that allowed retroactive applications to take the cases to trial.

Victims Want More Time To Sue

Citizens have pushed lawmakers to eliminate the time limits for filing civil sexually abused victim claims against their abuser and any group associated with the harm. However, the Roman Catholic officials have vigorously lobbied against and fought these efforts.

In October 2019, an investigative report revealed that the Bridgeport Diocese had covered up child sex abuse cases from 1953. The investigation revealed over seventy predatory priests victimizing almost three hundred child sex abuse survivors.

While the current law allows victims to sue their abuser and the church, claims and lawsuits must be filed thirty years after they reach adulthood. Potential plaintiffs hope that the investigative report reveals the need for older victims to have more time after the statute of limitations expires.

The Church Turned a Blind Eye to Child Sex Abuse in Norwich Diocese

In Norwich Diocese, Connecticut, the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to child sex abuse by clergy members for decades.

The Norwich diocese was aware of complaints against at least 15 priests dating back to the 1950s but did not take action to remove them from ministry or report them to authorities.

The pattern of inaction allowed the abusers to prey on hundreds of children over the years.

The Norwich diocese finally released a list of 15 priests accused of sexual violations in 2003, but it is believed that the number of victims is much higher.

In 2019, a state report found that the Norwich diocese had failed to adequately investigate or take action in response to child sex abuse complaints.

Clergy Member Abuse: Survivors Resources in the Diocese of Norwich

The abuse by a clergy member is a serious problem in the Diocese of Norwich. If you are a victim of abuse, know that you are not alone and some people can help you.

The following is a list of resources that can help survivors of clergy member abuse in the Diocese of Norwich:

  • Crisis Services: If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911. If you need help but are not in danger, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
  • The Diocese of Norwich Office of Healing and Prevention: The Diocese of Norwich has an Office of Healing and Prevention that supports survivors of clergy member abuse. For more information, please call 860-848-2237, Ext. 212 or visit their website.
  • The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP): SNAP is a national support and advocacy organization for survivors of clergy member abuse. For more information, please call their 24/7 helpline at 1-888-SNAP-HEALS (1-877-762-7432) or visit their website.

If you have been a victim of clergy member abuse, please reach out to one of the above organizations for support.

Damages in a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Involving Clergy Abuse

Survivors of unwanted clergy sexual abuse who file civil cases may be eligible for the following in financial compensation from their sexual abuser and religious organization, including:

  • Pain and suffering damages, including traumatic stress disorder injuries they suffered and continue to experience
  • The out of pocket cost for victims' medical and psychological care
  • Any lost earnings if the unwanted sexual abuse impacted their ability to work
  • Punitive damages if the sexual abuse crimes of religious leaders were egregious
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

All of our child sexual abuse attorneys ensure that our clients receive total and fair compensation for their clergy abuse cases. In some situations, we can assist you with getting counseling from licensed therapists who have helped other sexual assault victims.

We appreciate the significant impact childhood sexual abuse has on all areas of a victim's life. We work to relay the significance of the damage to a judge, mediator, or lawyer representing the diocese to ensure the value of your case is maximized.

Our law firm is mindful of the impact of a clergy abuse case on the victim. During all phases of litigation, we work within the confines of your wishes to litigate the case or resolve it discreetly. Our legal team will stand by your side during all court proceedings and depositions regardless of your desires. You will never stand alone.

Roman Catholic Dioceses in CT

Roman Catholics are the single largest religious group of all faiths in Connecticut. One Archdiocese of Hartford, three dioceses (Bridgeport CT, Norwich (parts of New York), and Providence (including all of Rhode Island), and their Bishops and spiritual leaders manage parishes in eight counties statewide (listed below).

Archdiocese of Hartford

134 Farmington Ave
Hartford, CT 06105
Phone: (860) 541-6491

Credibly Accused Clergy Members:

  • Archbishop Leonard P. Blair
  • Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin
  • Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt, SEMV
  • Bishop Christie Macaluso
  • Bishop Peter Rosazza
  • Most Reverend John F. Whealon, 1969-1991
  • Most Reverend Henry J. O’Brien, 1945-1968
  • Most Reverend Maurice F. McAuliffe, 1934-1944

Diocese of Bridgeport

238 Jewett Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06606
>Phone: (203) 416-1400

Credibly Accused of Sexual Misconduct Clergy:

  • Bishop Frank J. Caggiano

Diocese of Norwich

201 Broadway
Norwich, CT 06360-4328
Phone: (860) 887-9294

Accused Priests:

  • Bishop Michael R. Cote
  • Former Bishop Daniel A. Hart, 1995-2003
  • Former Bishop Daniel P. Reilly
  • Former Bishop Vincent J. Hines
  • Former Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan

Diocese of Providence

Chancery Office Building
One Cathedral Square
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Phone: (401) 278-4500

Credibly Accused Priests :

  • Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

Hire a Connecticut Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Need a sexual injury attorney to handle your claim against a clergy abuser? Call our child sexual abuse injury law firm today to learn more about your legal rights in a sexual assault lawsuit.

Even if the incidents happened many years ago, victims might still be able to file a civil action. Your trial lawyer can quickly resolve a confidential child sex abuse case with tact and discretion while fighting hard for your legal rights.

Need a clergy sexual violations attorney to handle your sexual misconduct case at our law firm? Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to set up your free case evaluation.

Your sexual violations lawyer will handle your clergy abuse case on a contingency basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we are successful in helping you obtain financial compensation. A clergy abuse attorney can help fight for sexual abuse victims to get the justice that their family deserves.

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