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New Jersey Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys

New Jersey Attorneys Investigating Sexual Assault Claims Against the Roman Catholic Church Archdioceses

New Jersey Catholic church clergy sexual abuse lawyers

Are you or your loved one a victim of New Jersey clergy abuse? Schedule a free case evaluation today with the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC. Call our law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation to share legal advice.

Our dedicated team of legal representatives will fight to protect your rights and provide a safe place to talk about the sexual abuse you experienced. Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers will provide a safe environment to share confidential or sensitive information and discuss legal options.

Our law firm has a comprehensive understanding of New Jersey tort law and uses the legal system to help survivors seek justice through a childhood sexual abuse case.

Believing that a Roman Catholic priest or clergy member sexually assaulted an innocent parishioner was once considered unfathomable.

However, in the last few decades, many sexual predatory priests and bishops have been exposed by their victims who were sexually assaulted by a religious leader.

These sexual abuse cases revealed that Catholic Church officials knew of the priest’s abusive behavior and yet failed to take the necessary action to ensure they were held criminally accountable in victims were protected.

As a result, the molester was allowed to continue victimizing children and young adults for years.

New Names Added to New Jersey Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases

Documents released in January 2020 identified nearly 200 New Jersey Catholic clergy members facing credible allegations of sexually abusing parishioners. A searchable database identified the priests working in different dioceses throughout New Jersey, including in Camden (56 new names), Metuchen (14), Newark (63), Paterson (29), and Trenton (31).

The New Jersey Roman Catholic Church verified most of those names in its database list. The report was released after the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report released its list of 300 clergy members involved in alleged sexual abuse. These names included priests, bishops, deacons, teachers, coaches, and other religious employees providing services in ministry to one or more congregations.

According to documents, church leaders in New Jersey have paid tens of millions of dollars to resolve cases involving victims of sexual abuse who were traumatized over the last 30 years. Many of these cases involve sexual abuse committed by clergy members, priests, bishops, teachers, coaches, and other people with religious authority.

Many confidentially settle cases did not report how much the victims received. In some cases, the victims agreed not to tell her story of how they were abused or disclosed the amount they received in their negotiated settlement.

A Newark Archdiocese spokesman revealed that at least five New Jersey dioceses had paid victims nearly $50 million over the last decade to resolve sexual abuse claims. Under Pope Francis's guidance, the Holy See now requires global religious diplomats and Vatican city officials to report any allegation of Catholic Church sexual abuse.

The Camden Diocese paid more than $10 million to resolve childhood sex abuse claims between 1990 and 2018. These cases involved two settlements resolved in amounts totaling "seven figures" in cases involving two men claiming that Catholic priests had sexually abused them during the 1950s and 1960s.

Clergy Sexual Assault

In August 2019, thirty individuals stepped forward to say New Jersey religious leaders had sexually assaulted them when they were underage children. The allegations included new names on the list of over a dozen accused priests who were now credibly accused of sexual molestation.

The church in New Jersey, like in other states, including Pennsylvania and New York, engaged in a decades-long pattern of cover-up and hiding evidence of child sexual abuse. However, sexually abused victims have new legal options.

That year, the New Jersey Catholic Church set up the Independent Victim Compensation Program

Recently, state legislators changed clergy abuse law to provide more time for sexual assault survivors to file lawsuits for financial compensation against their abusers and enablers, including the Roman Catholics of New Jersey.

Victims of New Jersey clergy abuse can seek compensation beyond the restrictions of the state’s statute of limitations.

It often takes decades for victims who survived sexual abuse to come forward and identify their abusers in hopes they will be held accountable.

If you are a sexual assault survivor harmed by priests or other clergy members and want justice, the compassionate New Jersey sexual abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Our caring team of legal representatives will fight on your behalf to protect your rights and provide a safe place to talk about what happened. We encourage you to call us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) for more information.

Our clergy sexual abuse injury attorneys are here to listen to your story. Your abuse lawyer will work to make sure that your story of childhood sex abuse gets its day in court if your case does not settle before then.

Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers can ensure you receive compensatory damages to pay for your hospitalization, medical expenses, mental health care, counseling, therapy, pain-and-suffering. In addition, we will seek punitive damages from the church and the predator if your abuser's actions were egregious.

New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program

The program is designed to provide remedies for victims of pre-sexual abuse to settle their cases privately and avoid a court trial. By early 2020, 69 New Jersey victims of sexual assault by clergy members had resolved their cases for $11 million and negotiated settlements.

The Church received 560 formal complaints since the Independent victim's compensation program was initiated. In addition to those already settled, many more applications remain under review.

In some cases, those in charge of operating the fund are waiting to hear if the sexual abuse survivor will accept the Church's settlement offers. Only seven applications were deemed to be ineligible for participation in the compensation program.

The Church extended the deadline to file a claim stating that "the program was extended because we, the program administrators and Catholic dioceses, want to be as conclusive as possible. We had several people who attempted to file or register beyond the deadline, and we wanted to be sure they could participate."

Church officials and program administrators have yet to say how much compensation individual settlements have paid out. However, New York has a similar fund that has paid a maximum of $500,000 per sexual abuse survivor who a priest or other clergy member molested.

The Catholic Church compensation fund administrator state that victims who file a private claim and not a public lawsuit could ensure their case is resolved quickly. However, the settlement amount they may receive will be significantly less than a jury trial verdict.

The victims can avoid presenting evidence and proof at trial that would reveal their names, addresses, and intimate details of the sexual abuse. Part of accepting the negotiated settlement from the Independent victim compensation fund requires agreeing to not file a lawsuit against the Catholic Church at any time in the future over the same legal issues.

The New Jersey Legislature has Extended the Statute of Limitations

While the New Jersey dioceses' compensation fund has resolved many cases involving sexual abuse victims, many more are likely to be resolved in the years ahead due to the revised state law. For years, the state's statute of limitations has limited the time to two years that the sexual abuse victims could file civil claims or lawsuits in civil cases involving abuse in New Jersey.

In 2019, NJ legislators revised the law, opening a two-year window that allows nearly every clergy sexual abuse victim to file a civil lawsuit against the Catholic Church or other religious institution or organization like athletic clubs, Boy Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and others. This change in the law helps many victims hold sexual predators and Catholic Church leaders accountable for perpetrating sexual abuse.

Some clergy sexual abuse advocates state that the growing number of civil lawsuits filed against the Church could allow victims to get Justice. The advocates suggest that publicly exposing the Roman Catholics and other institutions could protect the sexually abused for decades.

In 2020, the NJ Attorney General's office began investigating clergy sexual abuse involving statewide churches and religious organizations. The investigation includes a task force that will likely publish a seething report like the Pennsylvania grand jury report, exposing hundreds of allegations of priest sexual assault and what the Church did to cover up the accusations.

Victims of New Jersey clergy sexual abuse can report what happened to the State hotline at (855) 363-6548.

The Devastating Effects of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault of an innocent person often creates lifelong mental and emotional devastation altering the victim’s well-being years after the abusive incident. Adults and children who survived sexual assault often develop debilitating sleeping disorders, ongoing depression, substance abuse, and self-injury in the months and years after the abuse occurred.

Young children and teenage sexual abuse victims may develop negative eating habits, begin living an over-sexualized lifestyle, or engage in any form of risky behavior.

The trauma of sexual abuse by clergy members may result in suicide or suicidal ideation (thinking about committing suicide). Many sexual abuse survivors spend years receiving mental health care and psychological therapy to overcome their painful experiences and develop healthy relationships.

Holding the Abuser Accountable: Filing Sexual Abuse Claims

In January 2020, the Roman Catholic Church in New Jersey received over 500 applications for compensation involving child sexual abuse harmed by priests and other clergy members. Clergy abuse victims who do not want to file a civil lawsuit have the option of applying to the compensation payment fund managed by Catholic leaders.

So far, the independent victim compensation program has funded over $11 million in out of court settlements to sixty-nine victims in New Jersey who filed sex abuse claims.

The remaining applications will remain under review until officials determine the validity of each case.

Our sexual abuse lawyers handle clergy abuse cases for our clients and can help your family too. Our trial lawyers have years of experience building compensation cases and fight aggressively with the Church’s legal team wanting to minimize the value of many survivors’ sexual injury claims.

Sexual Abuse Victims Hiring a New Jersey Clergy Abuse Lawyer

Were you victimized by sexual misconduct perpetrated by a clergy member? Did the religious institution or authority figure cover up what occurred? Were you previously unable to speak up and remained silent about sexual violence you endured since it occurred, but want justice for what happened?

The New Jersey clergy sexual abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC serve as legal advocates for our clients and hold those credibly accused of sexual molestation legally and financially accountable. We help innocent victims seek justice and receive the maximum amount of financial recovery they deserve and can help you take legal action too.

Our legal team understands it is incredibly difficult for victims of sexual abuse to discuss what happened. We can provide a private setting to discuss the circumstances surrounding your abuse while you tell us what the sexual predator did to you.

All information you share with our law office remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Call our clergy abuse lawyers today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Our attorneys accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you receive immediate legal representation and services without paying until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.

Resources:

New Jersey Roman Catholic Church Diocese

New Jersey’s Catholic community is the single largest religious group of all faiths statewide where forty percent of the state’s population identifies as Catholic. The Archdiocese of Newark, four dioceses, and their Bishops manage more than 645 parishes and 208 Catholic schools throughout the state.

The Church provides services to hundreds of thousands of registered Catholics living in twenty-one counties.

Dioceses in New Jersey

Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson
777 Valley Rd
Clifton, NJ 07013
Bishop: Arthur J. Serratelli
Cathedral: St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral

Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden
631 Market St
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 756-7900
Bishop: Dennis Joseph Sullivan
Cathedral: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark
171 Clifton Ave
Newark, NJ 07104
(973) 497-4000

Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton
701 Lawrenceville Rd
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen
146 Metlars Ln.
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Bishop of Metuchen: James F. Checchio
Cathedral: St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral

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