The files released last week by America's largest Catholic archdiocese revealed new and disturbing details about how church officials schemed to protect priests accused of molesting children. But was the scandal in Los Angeles really so much worse than in other places?
Increased public awareness of how child predators operate, along with better law enforcement and policies to protect children, may be helping to reduce child sex abuse despite this year's headlines about cases connected to institutions like Penn State, the Boy Scouts and the BBC. A recent report from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center found incidents of child sexual abuse have been declining in the U.S. for 20 years, with some statistics showing decreases as steep as 60 percent. The findings may be surprising given the high-profile cases in the news. But many of those incidents took place years, sometimes decades, ago. Ironically, experts say, publicity surrounding such scandals may help reduce the problem.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every year millions of children from all walks of life become victims of, or witnesses to, abusive or violent events that can result in long-lasting symptoms of distress. The events can range from sexual and physical abuse to involvement in a natural disaster, fire or serious motor vehicle accident.