Sexual abuse is a traumatic experience that can have long-lasting consequences. The effects of this kind of abuse can be compounded if the abuser is a pastor, priest, or another religious leader. The repeated sexual abuse of young boys by Catholic priests has made headlines in recent years; however, clergy sexual abuse can happen to anyone anywhere.
Predators who sexually abuse the most vulnerable members of their church often make threats to keep victims quiet. Other people in positions of power may fail to report abuse allegations to the authorities as required by law. If a religious figure in Central Michigan sexually abused you or your child, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our East Lansing clergy sexual abuse lawyer.
How a Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney in East Lansing, MI, Can Help
As more victims come forward with complaints of clergy sexual abuse from their childhood, it is evident that this is the time to hold predators accountable. While nothing can undo the acts of corrupt clergy members, holding these predators financially liable through civil lawsuits can help prevent this kind of abuse from continuing to happen to others in the future.
When you meet with a member of our team to pursue your clergy sexual abuse claim, you are taking a courageous step that can make a difference for you and others who are in similar situations. Receiving compensation for your emotional suffering can also give you a sense of closure and help put you on the road to recovery.
It’s common to struggle with your decision to take legal action against your abuser. However, moving forward with a lawsuit can help you heal, and speaking out can raise awareness and prevent others from falling prey to the same abuse. When you hire our firm, we will stand beside you throughout the entire legal process.
East Lansing Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (517) 316-1195
Damages You May be Able to Recover in a Clergy Sexual Abuse Case
Our clergy sexual assault attorney in East Lansing, MI, is committed to holding perpetrators accountable in these cases. We will fight to get you justice and the compensation you need to help with the healing process.
Recoverable damages can be both compensatory and punitive and may include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma (past, present, and future)
- Therapy costs related to the abuse
- Prescription medications
- Decreased enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages
We are taking on clergy sexual abuse cases throughout Michigan to try to do our part to reduce the likelihood of these heinous crimes happening to anyone else. Not only do we want to hold the perpetrators responsible, but also those who cover for them. It’s time for church leaders to stopped sweeping these crimes under the rug.
For a free legal consultation with a clergy sexual abuse lawyer serving East Lansing, call (517) 316-1195
Understanding Michigan’s Stance on Clergy Sexual Abuse
In 2019, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that her office had charged seven different priests with serious sex crimes. Shockingly, the attorney general task force received complaints and allegations against 270 priests within a year, all of which were investigated by the state.
Employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees, which means the Catholic Church may be liable for psychological injuries to thousands of sexual abuse victims in Michigan. Unfortunately, because many of the abuse survivors were victimized during childhood, victims sometimes mistakenly assume that it’s too late to pursue a lawsuit.
Since victims can take years to come forward and due to the serious nature of child sexual abuse, Michigan extended the time limit in which victims can take legal action for acts perpetrated on them before they turned 18, as long as they file before turning 28. That said, it is always best to consult with an attorney sooner than later since evidence can be lost over time.
Michigan Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Under Michigan law, the victim of a sexual crime has ten years to bring legal action in civil court, separate from and regardless of any criminal charges. However, this period is extended in cases where the victim was a minor when the crime was committed. A victim who was abused as a minor can file a lawsuit any time before reaching 28 years of age.
A victim can also bring legal action three years after the date the individual discovers or should have discovered the injury and realizes that the damage they incurred was caused by sexual conduct (whichever is later).
This could apply to a situation where a victim repressed a memory. Since laws are always changing and these cases can be complicated, it’s best to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in sexual abuse lawsuits. One of our compassionate attorneys can listen to your story and advise you on your next steps.
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Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer in East Lansing, MI
If the statute of limitations has not expired, White Law PLLC may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the clergy member who sexually abused you. You may be entitled to compensation for your treatment expenses associated with the abuse, as well as for lost wages, lost or reduced future earning capacity, and psychological pain and suffering.
We may also be able to sue the religious institution that employed the individual who abused you. If the organization the clergy member worked for failed to supervise their employee and report suspected abuse, our East Lansing clergy sexual abuse lawyer may be able to get compensation from that entity. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.