New York Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Have you been sexually assaulted by a member of the clergy?
We’re ready to hear your story and fight for you.
The trauma of sexual abuse can follow a survivor for their entire life. The pain endured by a victim is often made worse when the abuse is committed by somebody they truly trust – like a member of the clergy or a religious leader.
Sadly, we have seen in recent years how major religious institutions have failed to protect children against vicious abusers. The New York clergy sex abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are ready to hold these wrongdoers accountable for their actions.
If you or a family member have been a victim of sexual abuse by a clergy member, we are here to help you begin healing. Call Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057 or reach out to us online to schedule a FREE, no obligation consultation to confidentially discuss your situation.
Proving Sexual Abuse
One of the challenges of proving sexual abuse by clergy is securing adequate evidence. Often times the employer or religious organization will fight the charges by claiming the abuse did not occur under the scope of employment or that they had no awareness of the misconduct.
Their negligence, however, is not an excuse.
If a religious organization failed to properly supervise a clergymember, employee, or volunteer, failed to adequately scrutinize an employee’s background during the hiring process, or carelessly retained an employee after sexual abuse incidents came to light, then the entity may be held accountable for its negligence.
Our New York sexual abuse attorneys will thoroughly analyze if:
- Protocols were in place to prevent misconduct
- Whether or not these protocols were followed
- If red flags were raised and if they were ignored
- Complaints were made and if they were investigated
- If the employer failed to act on behalf of the child
- If those responsible for the clergyman’s actions hid or protected the abuser
We will do everything that we possibly can and investigate all avenues to ensure that the survivor of sexual abuse can obtain the justice they deserve. We will help you to file a civil lawsuit and identify those responsible for hiring, training, and supervising the clergyman, as well as recover legal documents, medical records, criminal histories, witness statements, and other forms of evidence to help develop a strong claim.
Contact our sexual abuse attorneys right now at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a FREE consultation. Your experience matters to us.
Types of Clergy Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, there are some religious leaders who wrongly use their influence and the trust given to them to take advantage of children within their congregation. Because of their position in society, priests, ministers, rabbis, teachers, clergy, and other religious leaders are often trusted with the care and supervision of young members.
It is under these conditions in which many children are “groomed.”
Oftentimes, families are unaware of the abuse and openly welcome the religious leader to spend time with their child, at times on a one-to-one basis. Sexual abuse under these conditions can refer to a number of inappropriate acts including:
- Inappropriate touching, contact, or fondling of children
- Drug/alcohol facilitated assault
- Forcing children to undress
- Sexual harassment
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Forced sexual acts
- Coerced sexual acts
- Rape or attempted rape
- Exposure of private parts to a victim
- Taking sexualized pictures of a child
- Sexual harassment and threats
- Showing children pornography
If you know or suspect any type of sexual abuse occurring between a family member or child and a clergy member, it is absolutely vital that you report it to the proper authorities.
Penalties for Sexual Abuse in New York
New York has criminalized a wide range of behaviors that are considered “sexual abuse.” Generally, these are actions of sexual contact taken by one person without the victim’s consent. New York Penal Code Section 130(3) defines sexual contact as, “any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party,” including touching of the perpetrator by the victim or the touching of the victim by the perpetrator.
Degrees of sexual abuse are as follows:
- Third-degree sexual abuse consists of the act of perpetrator subjecting another person to sexual contact without that person’s consent.
- Second-degree sexual abuse is when the perpetrator subjects another person to sexual contact and the victim is incapable of consenting because they are less than 17 years old.
- First-degree sexual abuse occurs when the abuser subjects the victim to sexual contact:
- By “forcible compulsion” which is compelling the victim through the use of threat or physical force.
- When the victim is unable to consent because of being physically helpless.
- When the victim is less than 11 years old.
- When the victim is less than 13 years old and the perpetrator is 21 years old or older.
In the state of New York, all aggravated sexual abuse offenses are felonies and can result in the inclusion of the perpetrator to sex offender registries, restrictions in employment and housing, fines, incarceration, and negative social impact.
Additionally, a civil lawsuit can result in a perpetrator – or liable third party – having to pay their victim damages for the pain and suffering they caused.
The New York sexual assault attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP know that sexual abuse can make the victim feel guilty and ashamed. But you are not at fault for what has happened to you. We are committed to protecting the rights of sexual abuse victims.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a sexual predator, call us right now at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a FREE consultation.
Third Party Liability & Time Limits to File a Claim
While it may seem hopeless, you DO have rights as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Anyone or any entity that contributed to the trauma you suffered can be found liable for your losses. This can include any third party that was aware of the sexual abuse but failed to act.
Oftentimes, it may be necessary to file against a third party as the perpetrator of sexual assault may not have substantial assets to cover damages. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the administrators of these religious institutions to properly supervise their employees, to provide adequate security to children, and to act when violent or non-violent sexual abuse takes place.
It’s worth noting that recent changes to New York State law (Child Victims Act) will greatly expand the statute of limitations for filing a child sexual abuse crime. Under the new law:
- Survivors of sexual abuse as children will be able to file civil lawsuits against their abuser(s) and institutions until they are 55 years old.
- Victims whose cases were previously dismissed for statute of limitations reasons can bring a new lawsuit.
- Individuals who were abused at public institutions will now be able to file lawsuits against the organization without having to submit a notice of claim or notice of intention to file a claim.
- Survivors who suffered sexual abuse as children will be able to file felony criminal charges against the offender until they turn 28.
- Victims can seek misdemeanor charges against the offending party until their 25th birthday.
Thousands of individuals nationwide have reported abuse by a religious figure or official. Third party liability may allow you to secure financial compensation for your trauma. Our dedicated team of New York sexual abuse attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will fight to help you obtain full recovery for:
- Economic Damages – This includes costs for medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and anticipated future expenses.
- Non-Economic Damages – This includes damages for pain and suffering as well as emotional and psychological distress.
- Punitive Damages – This possible compensation is awarded as a form of punishment to the liable parties for such horrendous misconduct.
Are you a victim of clergy sex abuse? Hach & Rose, LLP is ready to help.
If you have been the victim of clergy sex abuse, you do not have to remain silent. Our dedicated and compassionate team at Hach & Rose, LLP have extensive experience assisting victims of child sexual abuse cases in New York.
Call Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057 to schedule a FREE and private consultation. You are not alone. There is light at the end of the tunnel.