Clergy Abuse in Erie
Clergy abuse has been a problem throughout the world for decades. With allegations coming to light recently, it’s important for sexual abuse victims to know that they can get compensation. For decades, the Erie clergy abuse lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have strived to make those who committed these atrocities are held accountable. With a former prosecutor on staff, we understand what is required in these cases to get you the justice that you deserve and to stop the abuse from reoccurring.
Clergy Abuse in Erie: What You Should Know
After hundreds of hours of testimony from abuse victims, a grand jury investigation recently released a scathing report that alleges decades of sexual abuse by more than 300 predatory priests in six of the eight Pennsylvania dioceses.
The redacted report presents alarming details. It details a cycle of sexual abuse and cover-up that occurred throughout the state dioceses, including right here in Erie. The report found 34 priests in the Erie area who had allegedly abused both boys and girls. And instead of protecting its community and bringing these priests to justice, evidence shows the Catholic Church did everything it could to hide the information and protect the priests.
Why Should I Come Forward?
It’s a painful and embarrassing situation and discussing the matter will only bring more pain. But remember, by speaking up you not only stand up for your rights but will be protecting the rights of others.
You have the right to file a civil claim against not only your abuser, but also the organization who had failed to report, prevent, and attempted to conceal the abuse. According to Pennsylvania law, you may receive economic damages, such as medical and therapy bills and loss of income. You may also be able to recover punitive damages, to punish the individuals and the institutions that allowed these horrible acts to occur for decades.
You will need to establish liability for your claim, and this means you will have to recount the events that occurred. But it's important to note that unlike a criminal case, where there needs to be concrete evidence to prove guilt, there only needs to be a "preponderance of the evidence" -- there needs to be enough evidence to determine the accuracy of your claim. For example, one credible witness can provide enough evidence to support the claim.
Legal Remedies for Erie Sexual Abuse Victims
If you or a loved one is a survivor of clergy abuse, you have the right to seek compensation. You may receive economic damages for your abuse, such as medical and therapy bills and loss of income. You may also be able to recover punitive damages, to punish the individuals and the institutions that allowed these horrible acts to occur for decades.
In Pennsylvania, you have the right to file a claim against any party who is liable for the abuse. Not only can you bring a suit against the perpetrator, but also the organization who had failed to report, prevent, or attempted to conceal the abuse.
Remember, by speaking up you not only stand up for your rights but will be protecting the rights of others. When you bring forward a sexual abuse suit against a religious body, you will be fighting for the institutional corrections to prevent anyone from being abused again.
In these cases, you need to prove liability which is why it's important to hire experienced clergy abuse lawyers to help you with your claim. Fellerman & Ciarimboli has been fighting for the rights of sexual abuse survivors for decades. We understand what is needed in these cases to get you the justice that you deserve and to stop the abuse from reoccurring.
How Our Erie Clergy Abuse Lawyers Can Help
The Erie clergy abuse lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli understand your concerns and your hesitation in pursuing a case. It is difficult to step up to a powerful religious organization but the time to act is now.
With Fellerman & Ciarimboli, you should know that you are not alone in this process. We will make sure your voice is heard.
Contact our Erie clergy abuse lawyers for a free consultation. We will stand with you and fight for your rights.