The clergy sex abuse scandal has rocked the Catholic Church for decades, and Michigan is no exception. Now, victims from various faiths and religious organizations have come forward with harrowing stories of abuse and cover-up, and many are seeking justice.
Finding a lawyer who can provide the representation and compassion needed in such a case is crucial when dealing with the difficult and emotionally charged matter of clergy sexual assault.
The Macomb Clergy Sex Abuse Attorneys at White Law PLLC are committed to bringing healing and justice to victims of clergy sexual misconduct. We have assisted hundreds of victims in reclaiming their lives, sense of self-worth, and financial stability, and we may be able to help you.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Clergy Sex Crimes Against Minors and Clergy Sex Abuse?
In Michigan, victims can hold the person who committed the abuse accountable for their actions and pursue legal action against the church or religious organization. Clergy are considered employees of the church.
It is their responsibility to report any child neglect or abuse that could be happening within their congregation under Michigan’s Child Protection Law Act 238 of 1975.
In certain circumstances, if the church knew about the abuse but either failed to intervene or actively tried to cover it up, it could be held liable for substantially contributing to an abusive environment and setting. A clergy sex abuse lawyer in Macomb can help you pursue a civil lawsuit.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim if I Was Abused by a Priest or Clergy Member as a Child?
The responsibility of sexual abuse by a clergy member is complex and far-reaching, but there is a time limit for filing a complaint. As of right now, victims of clergy sexual abuse in Michigan have three years from the date of injury or until they turn 28 to file a claim for damages.
The statute of limitations for charges of sexual misconduct against clergy in Michigan is set forth in section 600.5851b of the Michigan Compiled Laws. We advise speaking with one of our Macomb clergy sexual abuse attorneys because of the complex nature of these statutes.
It’s important to note that even if it has been more than three years since the abuse occurred or if you are older than 28, we may still be able to help.
We’re not just lawyers. We’re passionate advocates who will ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
Clergy Sex Abuse Occurs In Many Organizations
Religious leaders are looked up to because of the moral and spiritual example they set for their followers. When members of the clergy or priests sexually abuse minors and then use their authority and faith to cover it up, they have committed one of the gravest betrayals imaginable.
Many people have kept quiet about their abuse for a long time because they were afraid of their abusers or the people who condoned the abuse. Yet things are shifting, and now those brave survivors are taking action to hold religious institutions accountable for their crimes.
There have been allegations of sexual assault against numerous members of the clergy and leaders of nationally respected organizations such as:
- The Church of Scientology
- Mormons / The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Lutheran Church
- Southern Baptist Church
- Protestant Church
- Anglican Church
- The Catholic Church and Diocese
- Orthodox Judaism / Yeshivas
- The Boy Scouts
- Episcopalian Churches
When churches fail to properly investigate reports of sexual assault, report sexual abuse, or actively cover up those abuses, it is a crime. In Michigan, it is important for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy members to know that they have rights and options.
We have supported scores of survivors in their efforts to speak out and demand compensation in headline-making cases. Our Macomb clergy sex abuse lawyers have helped hold these wealthy religious institutions accountable and ensure justice is done.
We know how to get our clients the results they need in the toughest legal arenas.
Will the Clergy Member be Prosecuted?
Prosecution is possible if the clergy member is charged in criminal court. A criminal case is separate from a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit is filed by the clergy sexual abuse survivor to seek compensation for their injuries and damages.
Survivors can seek justice through their local law enforcement agencies but may also attempt to recover monetary damages from both the perpetrator and their employing church entity by filing a civil lawsuit.
If a survivor chooses to pursue litigation, they will need to work with a Macomb clergy abuse lawyer to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions and that financial compensation is obtained efficiently to begin healing.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
Can You File a Lawsuit Against a Dead Priest?
The lawsuit can be filed against the deceased priest’s estate rather than against the priest directly. Victims of priest sexual abuse may also choose to hold accountable those who enabled such behavior by filing civil claims against the Catholic diocese or church where their abuse took place.
Even if the perpetrator is no longer living, those organizations may still have an accounting of what occurred and how they allowed it to happen in some form or another.
In order to get compensatory damages for their suffering, victims are encouraged to seek capable legal representation with extensive experience handling these sensitive cases.
Contact a Macomb Lawyer to Learn More About Filing a Clergy Sexual Abuse Claim
It is never easy to come forward and speak about your personal experience with clergy sexual abuse. If you or a loved one has been abused by a clergy member, it’s important to know that you have legal options and you don’t have to face it alone.
We have helped countless others in similar situations. Our chief legal counsel has assisted clients in high-profile matters such as those involving the Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts of America and allegations of sexual abuse by its members.
The Michigan clergy sex abuse lawyers of White Law PLLC can provide you with the support and legal representation you need to navigate the legal system and fight for the justice you deserve. Let us use our experience to help you.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.