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Illinois Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys

Illinois Roman Catholic Diocese Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys

Illinois Catholic church clergy sexual abuse lawyer
312 Members of the Clergy Have Been Accused of Sexual Abuse in Illinois

312 Members of the Clergy Have Been Accused of Sexual Abuse in Illinois

Are you or your loved one a victim of Illinois priest abuse? Were you sexually abused by a religious leader years or decades ago but you still want to pursue justice? 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.

A clergy abuse lawyer from our team is ready to hear your story and will fight to protect your rights and provide a safe place to talk about what happened. Our law firm has a comprehensive understanding of Illinois tort law and uses the legal system to help survivors seek justice through a childhood sexual abuse case.

Generations of Catholics in Illinois trusted their children to the archdiocese’s institutions.

Many did not know at the time that their children were being abused by Catholic Priests and members of the clergy in Illinois whom they trusted and that they were victims of the scourge of clerical sexual abuse.

For many years, sexual abuse of minors was rampant in the Archdiocese of Chicago, leading to a sordid chapter in church history.

One group that apparently knew of much of the misconduct by accused Catholic Priests was the Church itself. Over the last several decades, information about widespread sexual abuse among clergy in many catholic dioceses has come out to the general public.

The Church has already paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to victims of sexual abuse after religious leaders elected not to legally fight these civil lawsuits.

If you are a sexual abuse victim with Catholic clergy member, read further to find out how you can file a claim after you have contacted sexual abuse attorneys.

The diocese has more than just a moral obligation to make things right. You deserve justice. The profound regret of the entire religious community does not begin to compensate you for what you have endured.

Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyer

The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC help victims of sexual abuse file a sexual injury lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago or against any diocese, religious order, or church throughout the state and church officials responsible for the sexual abuse.

The Catholic Church has settled numerous clergy sexual abuse cases filed against it, and we can help you pursue justice against the institution that employed the priest who abused you. The state legislature has extended the restrictions of the statute of limitations to allow sexual abuse victims additional time to file a claim.

If you or a loved one has been abused, act now. Speak to our law firm about what happened. Your sexual abuse lawyer will initiate your civil compensation claim in the appropriate court to hold the sexually abusive religious leader accountable for what they did.

All of our sexual abuse cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where we only receive a legal fee when we are successful in obtaining a financial recovery for you.

If we are unsuccessful in obtaining a recovery, there is no cost to you. Contact an experienced sexual abuse lawyer today for a free consultation.

History of Illinois Church Victims of Sexual Abuse

As of last year, ninety-nine religious leaders faced allegations of victim sexual abuse levied against them. The filed claim numbers may be a low estimate given the fact that a victim of sexual abuse may never come forward with their stories out of fear.

Rev. Daniel McCormack was involved in one of the worst Chicago Diocese instances of illegal sexual abuse behavior. The reverend allegedly abused several Chicago area boys repeatedly over a four-year span. Although numerous victims of sexual abuse accused him of sexual misconduct, he was not removed from his job.

Finally, after two years McCormack agreed to a plea bargain. Court records show that he was accused of molesting twenty-five youths. McCormack poses such a danger to the local Chicago community that the state has held the sexual abuser at a secure facility even after his criminal sentence ended due to the dangers that he poses to children.

A History of Abuse in the Illinois Church

By last year, there were 99 clergy members in the Chicago area that had allegations of sexual abuse levied against them. The number may even be a low estimate given the fact that many victims of sexual abuse never come forward with their stories out of fear.

One of the worst instances of inappropriate behavior that was illegal in the Chicago Diocese was that of Rev. Daniel McCormack. He was alleged to have abused several boys repeatedly over a four-year span. When he was first accused of sexual misconduct, he was not removed from his job.

Finally, after two years McCormack agreed to a plea bargain. Court records show that he was accused of molesting 25 youths. McCormack poses such a danger to the community that the state has held him at a secure facility even after his sentence ended due to the dangers that he poses to others.

Recent Illinois and Chicago Sexual Abuse Claims

Accusations are still being made against religious leaders based on conduct that occurred many years ago. Fortunately, the time limit for child sexual abuse lawsuits has been extended.

Recently, the Catholic Church in Chicago was sued based on allegations of criminal sex abuse by the late Father John Smyth. The reverend is alleged to have molested the plaintiff when the priest was head of the Maryville Academy.

The plaintiff alleges that the priest began sexually molesting him when he was eleven years old, starting in 2001 and ending three years later.

This allegation is much worse than many abuse cases because the plaintiff reported the illegal behavior as it was occurring. However, school officials did not believe the sexually abused victim, who was eleven when the abuse began. Thus, the molestation continued for three years.

Dismissing the victim reporting their sexual injury is exactly how accused clergymen were able to operate with impunity for so long.

The Chicago area Catholic leaders have turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual abuse. When they did believe the accuser, they engaged in a coverup to keep news of sexual abuse of children from ever becoming public.

An $8 Million Negotiated Settlement To Resolve a Decades-Old Clergy Sexual Abuse Claim

In the summer of 2020, the Archdiocese of Chicago resolved a clergy sexual abuse claim by agreeing to an $8 million negotiated settlement. The case involved Rev. John Callicott who had been accused of sexually assaulting a minor in the 1990s.

The victim had requested that their name be withheld from the public. Rev. John Callicott of Holy Angels Church denied the allegations and sought his accuser’s name. The court denied his request.

Even though the abuse occurred decades ago, long past the statute of limitations, the clergy sexual abuse case was settled in March 2019. However, the information was not immediately released to the public. The victim received total compensation in July 2019 and was considered “the largest payout of its kind” in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The first accusations against Rev. Callicott started in the 1970s when he faced accusations of molesting two young males. The reverend admitted to sexually abusing the victims.

Church leaders removed him from his ministerial duties at the parish. However, he was reinstated two years later. In 2002, the Catholic Church fired him from his position and he never returned.

$210 Million in Payouts to Date

Currently, the Archdiocese of Chicago has paid out approximately $210 million to resolve clergy sexual abuse lawsuits. Documents reveal that an estimated $156 million more is necessary to resolve additional sexual abuse claims that are expected to be filed in the years ahead.

The financial burden of paying off millions to innocent victims has created a potential bankruptcy issue for the Chicago area churches. In recent years, the Vatican, under the leadership of Pope Francis, has begun holding priests, clergy members, and Church leaders accountable for their deplorable actions.

So far, the Catholic Church is resorted to bankruptcy to better manage its clergy sexual abuse settlements. Buffalo and Rochester dioceses in New York state have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

How to Report Sexual Abuse

Police can still investigate sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic religious leaders that occurred years ago. Charges can still be filed decades later if the predator is still alive if the conduct is reported to the civil authorities. In 2013, the state removed criminal statutes of limitations in sex abuse claims. Abuse can be reported directly to law enforcement.

However, you can also proceed directly to a sexual abuse lawsuit for the misconduct. Sexual abuse victims and family members can also call a clergymen abuse hotline for help.

Whether or not you choose to come forward about your clergy sexual abuse case is entirely up to you. If you make a criminal report, it may stop the Catholic priest who is accused of abuse. Pedophiles rarely stop at molesting just one person and often have a life-long pattern of this child sexual abuse.

At the same time, you should seek out professional help to restore your life and handle memories of sex abuse by a clergy member. Improve mental health will not only help you as you try to recover from what you have endured but assist you in documenting what you have suffered, which could help you in your civil sexual abuse trial.

Sexual Abuse Claims Against the IL Dioceses

In the state of Illinois, Catholic leaders have pledged to be more vigilant and transparent after decades of grotesque violations against sexual abuse victims.

However, even if the problem is being dealt with currently, the pattern of horrible offenses dates back for decades. The Church is alleged to have covered up for abuse going back to the 1980s and likely earlier before that both in the state and across America.

Damages in a Chicago Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

When you file a Catholic Church sexual misconduct lawsuit, you are entitled to be "made whole" for everything that you have suffered from the predatory priest and other clergy members.

The Church cannot give you your life back, but it can be made to pay you for the devastating effects of sexual mistreatment to which you were subjected by a clergy member. This includes damages for the following:

  • Lost wages if your suffering prevented you from working or reaching your earnings potential
  • Pain and suffering (this can include the emotional trauma that you have suffered and continue to suffer)
  • Loss of enjoyment of your life
  • Reputational harm
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Our law firm appreciates the impact that sexual abuse has on all aspects of your life. We are committed to providing effective and aggressive representation for victims of sexual abuse to maximize the value of your clergy sexual abuse case.

We regularly utilize the services of experts in the fields of psychology and economics to help maximize the damages in your clergy sexual abuse case. When we are retained in an Illinois sex abuse case, we are committed to maximizing the value via settlement or trial.

Our Lawyers Stand With Sexual Abuse Victims From Intake Through Resolution

We appreciate the courage it takes to come forward and speak up after a situation involving sexual abuse. As attorneys for victims of priest sexual abuse, our goal is to make the claims process as smooth as possible for you.

Our super lawyers have experience representing other victims of clergy abuse and can help you maneuver through the process. When you retain our firm, you will have a sexual abuse attorney by your side during every step of the legal process.

Your attorney will be with you during all court hearings and depositions. However, most importantly, you will have access to your attorney at all times to address questions, concerns or just provide guidance.

Our attorneys know the process of seeking justice can be scary. However, we also know the satisfaction and sense of closure victims experience when they resolve their clergy sexual abuse case and move past the dark chapter in their lives.

Let our team help get you started on the path towards recovery and justice.

We welcome you to contact our office for a free, confidential consultation with an experienced lawyer who can explain the legal process and what you can expect.

Should you wish to move forward with a clergy member sexual assault claim, we provide legal services for you on a contingency fee basis where we are only paid a fee when we obtain a financial recovery for you via settlement, mediation, or trial. If there is no recovery, you owe us nothing and our services are completely free.

We are proud of our track record of success when it comes to prosecuting clergy abuse cases and look forward to earning your trust.

Illinois Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations

Like all personal injury cases, sexual abuse claims are governed by the statute of limitations, a time constraint for submitting a compensation claim. Your failure to comply with a statute of limitations will likely result in the dismissal of your clergy sexual abuse case and you will be unable to recover any compensation.

Illinois state law allows survivors of clergy abuse twenty years from the date that they discovered that they were sexually assaulted to file a lawsuit. The claim or lawsuit can be filed against sexual clergy members and religious organizations covering up their crimes that could include rape, sodomy, oral sex, sexual exploitation, and child pornography.

The statute of limitations on clergy abuse does not begin to run until the person turns eighteen and does not include limitations on filing a criminal case. The law recognizes that this is the time when they can begin to give an accurate account.

The law (Chapter 735 of the IL Statutes in § 13-202.2) is important because many people who have been molested have buried their memories when the abuse occurred years or decades ago. Many victims might not even realize that they were a victim of clergy abuse until they are adults and have had time to work through their repressed memory.

If the victim of sexual abuse does not file a clergy sexual abuse lawsuit before time runs out, they lose the right to file a clergy abuse civil lawsuit. There might be additional legal remedies if the abuse occurred past the statute of limitations deadline.

Consequently, we urge you to speak with an experienced sexual abuse lawyer as soon as feasible to ensure your legal rights are not compromised.

Chicago Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Attorneys

Contact the clergy sexual abuse lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today to learn how you can file a lawsuit. We commit to fight hard on your behalf and to treat your clergy sexual abuse case with the sensitivity that you deserve as a plaintiff.

Our Chicago sexual abuse lawyers recognize how hard it is for you to come forward and will work with you every step of the way.

Contact our law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form for a free consultation. Our clergy abuse attorneys provide a protective environment to share your confidential or sensitive information. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers take the attorney-client relationship seriously and commit to fighting hard for our clients to ensure they receive financial compensation for the damages, pain, and suffering even if the abuse happened decades ago. The choice to come forward to discuss your horrifying experience is yours.

Begin the process of getting your life back and talk to an attorney today during a strictly confidential meeting.

Illinois Roman Catholic Dioceses

In Illinois, Roman Catholics are the single largest religious group of all faiths statewide. One Archdiocese of Chicago, five dioceses (Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield), and their Bishops manage parishes in 102 counties statewide (listed below).

Archdiocese of Chicago
835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2030
(312) 534.8200

Archbishop Quigley Center
835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611-2030

Cardinal Meyer Center
3525 South Lake Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60653-1402
Chicago Metropolitan Area: Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County

Chicago Archdiocese officials

  • Cardinal Blase J. Cupich
  • Auxiliary Bishop Robert Casey
  • Auxiliary Bishop Jeffrey Grob
  • Auxiliary Bishop Mark Bartosic
  • Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Lombardo
  • Auxiliary Bishop John R. Manz
  • Auxiliary Bishop Andrew P. Wypych
  • Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry
  • Retired Auxiliary Bishop Kevin M. Birmingham
  • Retired Auxiliary Bishop Francis J. Kane
  • Retired Auxiliary Bishop George J. Rassas
  • Retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond E. Goedert
  • Retired Auxiliary Bishop John R.Gorman

Diocese of Belleville
222 South Third Street
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 277-8181
St. Clair County

  • Bishop Michael G. McGovern
  • Former Bishop Edward K. Braxton
  • Former Bishop Wilton Cardinal Gregory
  • Former Bishop James P. Keleher
  • Former Bishop John N. Wurm
  • Former Bishop William M. Cosgrove
  • Former Bishop Albert R. Zuroweste
  • Former Bishop Henry J. Althoff
  • Former Bishop John Janssen

Diocese of Joliet
16555 Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60403
(815) 221-6185
Will County and Kent County

  • Bishop Ronald Hicks
  • Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon
  • Former Archbishop J. Peter Sartain
  • Former Bishop Bishop Joseph L. Imesch
  • Former Bishop Romeo R. Blanchette
  • Former Bishop Martin D. McNamara
  • Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Siegel
  • Auxiliary Bishop James E. Fitzgerald
  • Auxiliary Bishop Roger L. Kaffer
  • Auxiliary Bishop Raymond J. Vonesh
  • Auxiliary Bishop Daniel L. Ryan
  • Auxiliary Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera

Diocese of Peoria
419 NE Madison Ave
Peoria, Il 61603
(309) 671-1550
Peoria County

  • Bishop Daniel R. Jenky
  • Bishop Louis Tylka

Diocese of Rockford
555 Colman Center Drive
Rockford, IL 61108
(815) 399-4300
Winnebago County

  • Bishop David J. Malloy
  • Former Bishop David J. Malloy
  • Former Bishop Thomas George Doran
  • Former Bishop Arthur Joseph O’Neill
  • Former Bishop Loras Thomas Lane
  • Former Bishop Donald Martin Carroll
  • Former Bishop Raymond Peter Hillinger
  • Former Bishop John Joseph Boylan
  • Former Bishop Edward Francis Hoban
  • Former Bishop Peter James Muldoon

Diocese of Springfield IL
1615 W. Washington St.
Springfield, IL 62702
(217) 698-8500
Sangamon County

  • Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
  • Former Bishop George J. Lucas
  • Former Bishop Daniel L. Ryan
  • Former Bishop Joseph A. McNicholas
  • Former Bishop William A. O’Connor
  • Former Bishop James A. Griffin
  • Former Bishop James Ryan

Resources:

Our personal injury attorneys currently represent people harmed by sexual abuse throughout the United States and in Illinois in the following localities: Cook County, Kane County, McHenry County, Will County, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Joliet, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, and Waukegan..

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