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Clergy Sexual Abuse Archives

Chilean Bishop Resigns as Sexual Abuse Allegations Investigated by Vatican

The pope accepted the resignation of a Chilean bishop who is under investigation  by the Vatican for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor. The resignation of Bishop Marco  Antonio Ordenes Fernandez of Iquique, Chile, marks one of the few times that  the Vatican has acknowledged publicly that it was investigating a bishop for sex  abuse allegations. Advocates for clerical sex abuse victims have long complained  that the Vatican has looked the other way when bishops have been accused of  abuse or of covering it up.

Kansas City Bishop Convicted of Shielding Pedophile Priest - First American Bishop Convicted

A Roman Catholic bishop was found guilty on Thursday of failing to report suspected child abuse, becoming the first American bishop in the decades-long sexual abuse scandal to be convicted of shielding a pedophile priest.

Philadelphia Monsignor Imprisoned for Covering Up Child Sex Abuse in Catholic Church

Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking clergyman convicted in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church scandal, was sentenced on Tuesday to up to six years in prison for covering up child sex abuse by priests in Philadelphia.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina told Lynn, 61, the former secretary of the clergy for the Philadelphia Archdiocese, that he protected "monsters in clerical garb who molested children." Sentenced to three to six years in prison, Lynn had faced the possibility of a slightly longer maximum sentence of up to seven years behind bars for his conviction on a single count of child endangerment. Lynn, who oversaw the work of 800 priests, was convicted of covering up sex-abuse allegations, often by transferring predatory priests to unsuspecting parishes. His case, which was closely watched by the Vatican, followed a series of child abuse scandals that hit the church in the United States and in Europe.

Waterford Priest Pleads Not Guilty In Child Porn Case

A Waterford priest charged last week with first-degree possession of child pornography pleaded not guilty to the charge Monday during a brief hearing in Superior Court.

Waterford Priest Charged With Having Child Pornography

Investigators say that when they knocked on the rectory door of St. Paul Parish last week, search warrant in hand, the priest there quickly gave up a secret.

Vatican Eyes Legion Priests On Abuse

The Vatican is investigating seven priests from the troubled Legion of Christ religious order for alleged sexual abuse of minors and another two for other alleged crimes.

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney Continues to Represent Victims - Recent Cases Update

For the past 20 years, Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney has been devoted to representing the interests of individuals who were sexually abused, sexually assaulted, and sexually exploited when they were children. Over the years, we have successfully represented hundreds of childhood survivors in cases against religious institutions, hospitals, school systems, and individual perpetrators. We remain committed to this area of the law and we continue to actively represent survivors of these heinous acts. Here are a few recent updates: Dr. George Reardon/St. Francis Hospital In July of 2011, the jury in the Tim Doe v. St. Francis Hospital matter returned a verdict in the amount of $2.75 million. As expected, the Hospital appealed.  What was unexpected was that the Supreme Court transferred the appeal to itself and entered orders to allow for an expedited argument.   The briefing has been completed and the Court will hear argument on April 26, 2012. Teacher Abuse In March of 2012, a Superior Court judge in the Jane Doe v. Westport Board of Education matter ruled that a local Board of Education cannot use the shield of government immunity to protect it against a lawsuit by our client, a young woman, who claims she was sexually assaulted by her high school teacher.

Philadelphia Priest Trial Refocuses Abuse Scandal - Protecting abusive priests by moving them

Opening statements are scheduled for Monday in Philadelphia in the first case in which an official of a Roman Catholic archdiocese has been accused of protecting abusive priests by moving them from parish to parish.
Monsignor William Lynn has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn served as the vicar of clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, a position in which he was responsible for investigating reports that priests had sexually abused children. A grand jury alleged that he knowingly allowed priests accused of abuse to continue in the ministry in roles in which they had access to children, according to the district attorney's office. Lynn "acted as if his job was to protect the abuser, never the abused," a January 2011 grand jury report concluded.

Clerical Abusers and the First Amendment

Religious institutions have constitutional protections, but they are not above the law. Unfortunately, that has not stopped the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups from arguing that the First Amendment shields them from civil lawsuits for negligent supervision and retention of employees who sexually abuse children. Most state courts that have considered the issue have rejected this claim by churches, recognizing that holding religious employers liable for failure to monitor employees in sex-abuse cases does not interfere with constitutionally protected religious freedoms. However, courts in Missouri, Wisconsin and Utah have twisted the First Amendment into a shield for organizational liability for pedophile clergy. In an outrageous case, a Missouri appellate court summarily dismissed a negligence case brought against the Archdiocese of St. Louis by an individual who said he had been abused by a priest. His suit charged the archdiocese with negligent failure to supervise the priest, who had a past record of child sexual abuse. The court threw out the complaint, saying that Missouri law does not allow it because judging the supervision of the priest would require inquiry into religious doctrine, which it contends would violate the First Amendment. This bizarre conclusion would grant churches a special exemption from neutral, generally applicable laws designed to protect children. The United States Supreme Court now has an opportunity to reverse this erroneous interpretation of the Constitution. The justices should grant the plaintiff's petition for review, which they are scheduled to consider on Friday. Since some 20 states have not ruled on this issue, the Supreme Court can provide urgently needed clarity. It should firmly declare that the First Amendment does not exempt religious entities from accountability for exposing children to harm. THE NEW YORK TIMES, Editorial - March 14, 2012

Hartford diocese Found Negligent in Abuse Case

A jury determined Friday that the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford should pay $1 million in damages to a former altar boy who was sexually abused by a priest decades ago, ruling that the church was reckless and negligent in allowing a known pedophile to have access to children.

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