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If you or someone close to you has experienced clergy abuse within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo can help. Our Archdiocese of Los Angeles clergy abuse lawyers offer compassionate, confidential legal counsel to survivors of sexual abuse from clergy members such as priests, bishops and archbishops. We understand how overwhelming and debilitating clergy abuse can be for survivors. You can rest assured any conversation you have with one of our attorneys will be confidential. Schedule a free consultation in Los Angeles today at (714) 783-2205.
You may not know where to turn for answers or justice as a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. You may still be dealing with the repercussions of experiencing abuse as a child at your church in Los Angeles. It is understandable to not know whom to trust. Our firm is here for abuse survivors. From helping you secure medical care to fighting to bring perpetrators to justice, we can help with all aspects of your case. Our Archdiocese of Los Angeles clergy abuse attorneys want you to focus on emotional healing while we represent your best interests during a legal battle.
Of the millions of Catholics within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, thousands may have experienced sexual abuse or misconduct from clergy members. So far, a public database has published the names of 326 possible perpetrators within the archdiocese. Dozens of these individuals have received convictions for sex crimes against minors, while others face ongoing lawsuits, accusations and arrests. The database receives its information from the media. A name on the list does not necessarily mean the individual has committed the crime.
In response to allegations of abuse within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, it has joined five other dioceses in creating a program to compensate survivors. The Independent Compensation Fund is a unique program in which survivors can come forward in confidence and receive settlements within 90 days in most cases. Jose Gomez, the Los Angeles Diocese Archbishop, wrote a letter to members saying it has supported survivors for many years and will continue to do so through the fund.
If you have missed the deadline to file a civil lawsuit for childhood clergy abuse in California, you may still be eligible to receive compensation through the independent fund. The fund does not impose a deadline on sex abuse survivors. If you are within your time limit to bring a lawsuit, however, this may better serve your interests. A lawsuit may entitle you to greater compensation than a claim through the program. One of our Los Angeles clergy abuse lawyers can evaluate your unique case in Los Angeles.
For years there have been discussions of changing the time frames in existing state law to allow for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse longer periods of time to file civil lawsuits. Now, victims of sexual abuse from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will no longer be silenced. California law previously barred civil lawsuits from adult victims of childhood sexual abuse after they turned 26 years of age or if they did not file within three years from the date they discovered they had been abused. Assembly Bill 218 significantly changes these time frames.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) into law on October 13, 2019. The changes that this law makes it will take effect on January 1, 2020. AB 218 implements changes to the statutes of limitation as follows:
Another significant change made under AB 218 is that it broadens the definition of “childhood sexual abuse” to include childhood sexual “assault.” This broadens the types of crimes in which victims of childhood sexual abuse will be able to file claims.
AB 218 also directly targets institutions and organizations that seek to cover up allegations of childhood sexual abuse that happened under their watch. By allowing for “treble” damages to be awarded to survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the state of California is putting institutions and organizations on notice that covering up abuse will not be tolerated.
It is now well known that powerful organizations have sought to bury allegations of sexual abuse within their ranks. This includes not only the Catholic Church, but also organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, school districts, other government agencies, and more. AB 218 also makes it legal for victims of sexual abuse to pursue lawsuits against government agencies.
Assembly Bill 218 will help usher in change and justice for victims who no longer thought they had a voice. Not all adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience what happened to them in the same way. Sometimes it takes a while to come forward. Sometimes they need time to process before filing a lawsuit. AB 218 opens up a new window and gives survivors a chance to seek justice for what happened. Our Archdiocese of Los Angeles clergy sex abuse lawyers are ready to help you through this.
If you remember clergy abuse, recently discovered it in your past or have a loved one who has confided in you, contact our firm to request a legal consultation. One of our attorneys can discuss your case over the phone or in person in complete confidence. Everything you say during meetings with an attorney will be private, protected information. We may be able to help you obtain closure and financial recompense for your serious losses after clergy abuse within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Call (714) 783-2205 today for more information.