Illinois Clergy Abuse Lawyer
Generations of Catholics trusted their children to the Archdiocese of Chicago institutions. Many did not know that their children were being abused by Catholic priests and clergy members in Illinois whom they trusted. The Church had a moral obligation to ensure the safety of the children entrusted to them.
For many years, sex abuse of minors was rampant in the Archdiocese of Chicago, leading to a sordid chapter in church history.
Are you or your loved one a victim of priest abuse in Illinois? Were you sexually abused by a religious leader years or decades ago and still want to pursue justice? 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) or use the contact form.
Our clergy abuse lawyers from our team are ready to hear your story, fight to protect your legal 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 child abuse cases.
Illinois Roman Catholic Church Clergy Abuse
One group that knew of much of the misconduct by the accused clergy members was the Church itself. Over the last several decades, information about widespread child sexual molestation committed by clergy members in many Illinois Catholic dioceses has come out to the general public.
The Church has already paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to survivors of priest abuse after religious leaders elected not to fight these civil lawsuits legally.
The profound regret of the Archdiocese of Chicago does not begin to compensate the victims for what they have endured.
Clergy Sex Abuse Victims in Archdiocese of Chicago
A complete and accurate accounting of all the Illinois clergy abuse survivors is impossible. The Catholic denomination has never released a comprehensive list of all its priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.
Clergy Abuse Investigation in Illinois
In recent months, the state of Illinois has seen a growing number of clergy abuse investigations. The most recent clergy abuse investigation began in early August when the Chicago Archdiocese announced that it had received allegations of sexual violations by five priests.
Illinois Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Our Illinois sexual abuse lawyers can help survivors of sexual molestation file a sexual injury lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago or any of the six Catholic dioceses, clergy members, religious orders, or churches throughout the state and church officials responsible for the child sexual violations.
The Catholic Church has settled numerous clergy members' sexual violation cases filed against it, and we can help you pursue justice against the institution that employed the clergy member who sexually violated you.
The state legislature has extended the restrictions of the criminal statute of limitations laws to allow child sexual violation victims additional time to file a legal claim.
Initiate a Claim
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused at the hands of an Archdiocese of Chicago priest, bishop, or clergy official, act now.
Your personal injury 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 molestation cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, we only receive a legal fee when we successfully obtain a financial recovery for you.
If we are unsuccessful in obtaining a recovery, there is no cost to you. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation.
History of Illinois Church Victims of Sexual Abuse
Last year, ninety-nine religious leaders faced credible allegations of sexual violations levied against them. However, the filed claim numbers may be a low estimate because a victim of priest sexual violence may never come forward with their stories out of fear.
Rev. Daniel McCormack was involved in one of the worst Illinois Dioceses' instances of illegal sexual violations. The reverend allegedly sexually abused several Chicago area boys repeatedly over four years.
Although he was credibly accused of sexual misconduct, he was not removed from his job.
Finally, after two years, McCormack pled guilty after being offered a plea bargain. Court records show that the Illinois catholic clergy accused of sexual misconduct had molested 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 he poses to others.
Recent Illinois and Chicago Sexual Abuse Claims
Accusations are still being made against religious leaders based on conduct 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 credible allegations of criminal sex assault by the late Father John Smyth. The reverend is alleged to have molested the altar boy when the clergy member 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.
The Church Turned a Blind Eye to Child Sexual Violations
This allegation is much worse than many abuse cases because the plaintiff reported the sexually inappropriate behavior as it was occurring. However, school officials did not believe the sexually abused altar boy, who was eleven when the abuse began. Thus, the molestation continued for three years.
Dismissing the victim's report of their sexual injury is how the Catholic clergy members credibly accused of sexual abuse were able to operate with impunity for so long.
The Chicago Catholic leaders have turned a blind eye to allegations of sexual molestation. When they did believe the accuser, they engaged in a coverup to keep news of abuse of children from ever becoming public.
Church Officials and Priests Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse in Illinois Dioceses
Some of the accused priests include:
- Burke Edmund was a well-known and respected clergyman in the Illinois area. He served as a pastor at several churches and was active in ministry work. In 2010, allegations of sexual violations were made against him.
- Daniel Mark Mula, a former Roman Catholic priest, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing two boys in the 1990s.
- Hogan Michael Gumbel was in active ministry until his retirement in 2009. He was the subject of several sexual violation allegations, including one by a minor, during his time as a priest.
- Daniel Peter was a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. In December of 2006, he was arrested and charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. He pled guilty and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
- John Walter was in active ministry until his retirement in 2006. He was placed on administrative leave in 2002 after the first accusation of sexual violations.
- John William Roach was a Catholic priest who served in the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, from 1960 until his retirement in 1992. In 1994, he was convicted of sexually abusing a minor and sentenced to four years.
An $8 Million Negotiated Settlement To Resolve a Decades-Old Clergy Member Sexual Abuse Claim
In the summer of 2020, the Archdiocese of Chicago resolved a clergy sex assault claim by agreeing to an $8 million negotiated settlement. The case involved Rev. John Calicott, an Illinois catholic clergy 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.
Settled Past the Statute of Limitations
Even though the abuse occurred decades ago, long past the civil statute of limitations, the clergy members' sexual violation 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. Calicott started in the 1970s when he faced allegations of molesting two young males. The reverend admitted to sexually abusing the victims.
Archdiocese of Chicago clergy members removed him from his ministerial duties at the parish. However, he was reinstated two years later. Then, in 2002, the church fired him from his position, and he never returned.
$210 Million in Payouts to Date
The Archdiocese of Chicago has paid out approximately $210 million to resolve clergy members' sexual violation lawsuits. However, documents reveal that an estimated $156 million more is necessary to resolve additional child sexual abuse claims 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 Illinois churches.
In recent years, the Vatican, under the leadership of Pope Francis, has begun holding the credibly accused clergy members and Church leaders accountable for their deplorable actions.
So far, the church is resorted to bankruptcy better to manage its clergy members’ sexual violations settlements. Buffalo and Rochester dioceses in New York have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
How to Report Sexual Abuse
Abuse can be reported directly to law enforcement. Police can still investigate allegations of sexual violations at the hands of the Archdiocese of Chicago 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 child abuse claims.
However, you can also proceed directly to a clergy sex abuse lawsuit for the misconduct. Sexual abuse victims and family members can also call a clergy member abuse hotline (1-888-414-7678) for help.
Whether or not you choose to come forward about your clergy sex abuse case is entirely up to you. However, making a criminal report may stop the credibly accused clergy member from perpetrating sex violations.
Pedophiles rarely stop at molesting just one person and often have a life-long pattern of this child sexual abuse.
Seeking Medical Mental Attention After Child Sexual Violations
At the same time, you should seek professional help to restore your life and handle memories of child sex abuse by a clergy member.
Improving mental health will 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 Illinois Dioceses
In Illinois, Catholic clergy members have pledged to be more vigilant and transparent after decades of grotesque violations against diocesan priest abuse survivors.
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 priest abuse from the 1980s and earlier in the state and across America.
Damages in a Chicago Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
When you file a Catholic Church sexual misconduct lawsuit, you are entitled to be "made whole" for everything 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 a clergy member subjected you. Typically, damages include the following:
- Lost wages, if you are suffering, or the sexual violations prevent 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. Therefore, we are committed to providing effective and aggressive representation for survivors of sexual violation to maximize the value of your clergy member's sexual abuse case.
We regularly utilize the services of experts in psychology and economics to help maximize the damages in your clergy member's sex abuse case. When we are retained in an Illinois child sex abuse case, we are committed to maximizing the value via settlement or trial.
Our Lawyers Stand With Child Sex Abuse Victims From Intake Through Resolution
We appreciate the courage it takes to come forward and speak up after a situation involving sexual assault. As attorneys for victims of clergy members' sex violations in Illinois, our goal is to make the civil claims process as smooth as possible for you.
Our lawyers have experience representing other priest abuse survivors in Illinois 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 to address questions and concerns or provide guidance.
Resolving a Clergy Sex Molestation Case
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 molestation cases 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's sexual assault claim, we provide legal services for you on a contingency fee basis.
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 prosecuting clergy abuse cases in Illinois and look forward to earning your trust.
Illinois Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations
Like all personal injury cases, sexual violation cases are governed by the civil statute of limitations, a time constraint for submitting a compensation claim.
Your failure to comply with the Illinois statute of limitations will likely result in the dismissal of your clergy sexual abuse case, and you will be unable to recover any compensation.
A claim or lawsuit can be filed against clergy members and religious organizations covering up their crimes, including rape, sodomy, oral sex, sexual exploitation, and child pornography.
The criminal statute of limitations on clergy abuse does not begin to run until the person turns eighteen and does not include restrictions on filing a criminal case. However, the law recognizes that this is the time when they can begin to give an accurate account.
Illinois Statutes Protecting Sexually Abused Victims
The law (Chapter 735 of the IL Statutes in § 13-202.2) is essential because many people who were molested had buried their memories when the abuse happened years or decades ago.
As a result, many survivors might not even realize that they were victims of religious order priest abuse until they are adults and have had time to work through their repressed memory.
If the victim of sexual violations does not file a clergy abuse lawsuit before time runs out, they lose the right to file a clergy abuse civil lawsuit. Consequently, we urge you to speak with an experienced sexual violations lawyer as soon as feasible to ensure your legal rights are not compromised.
The Implicated Catholic Institutions in Child sexual Violations in Illinois
Catholic Religious Orders
The Catholic Church comprises several religious orders, each with its area of focus or mission.
In the United States, there are four main religious orders: the Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Benedictines. Each religious order has been credibly accused of sexual abuse at some point.
Perhaps the best known of the religious orders, the Jesuits have been accused of sexual violations in several states, including Illinois.
In one recent case, a former Jesuit priest was convicted of sexually abusing a minor while working at a school in Chicago.
Sexual Assault in Joliet Diocese
An accused priest who worked in Joliet Diocese for years was allowed to continue working at a local parish, despite complaints of sexual violations.
The accused clergy members in sexual assault in Joliet Diocese were:
- Father James Nowak, who is currently on administrative leave from the church and living out of state
- Father Richard Jacklin, who is deceased
- Father Ronald Pilarski, who is currently on administrative leave from the church and living out of state
Priests Accused of Abuse in Chicago Parish
An abusive priest in a Chicago parish is a problem that the Catholic leaders have grappled with for years.
The accused priests in the Chicago Parish of St. Andrew the Apostle have been placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The priests, who have not been identified, are accused of sexually abusing minors.
Catholic Clergy Credibly Accused of Child Sexual Violations in Rockford Diocese
Rockford Diocese has released the names of four priests who have been accused of sex abuse of minors. The announcement comes after one priest in the Rockford Diocese passed away.
St. Francis de Sales Church
The Church in Chicago is the latest Catholic institution accused of clergy abuse. In a report released by the Archdiocese of Chicago on Wednesday, it was revealed that five priests who served at the church were accused of sexual misconduct with minors.
Diocesan Priests Accused of Abuse at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish
The clergy credibly accused of abuse at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
The Diocese of Belleville has released the names of four priests who have been credibly accused of abuse while serving at St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Illinois. The accused clergy members are James Hanley, Richard McGrath, Robert Vonnahmen, and William Cloutier.
We encourage anyone with information about these abusive priests or any other clergy credibly accused of abuse to contact the Illinois Attorney General at 1-888-414-7678.
Catholic Clergy Credibly Accused of Abuse in Illinois Diocese
An accused priest, Father John Hypolito, worked in various roles in Illinois dioceses for three decades.
His history of sexual misconduct with minors was widely known among the clergy, but he was never publicly accused or disciplined and was even promoted to positions of responsibility.
Catholic Bishops in the Chicago archdiocese
The Catholic bishops in the Chicago archdiocese have released the names of more than 65 priests and deacons who they say have been "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors. The alleged abuse took place for nearly 80 years, from the 1940s to the early 2000s.
Chicago Clergy Abuse Lawsuit Attorneys
Contact the personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today to learn how you can file a lawsuit. We commit to fighting hard on your behalf and treating your sexual molestation case with the sensitivity 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 case evaluation. 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 personal injury 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.