Clergy Abuse Within the Archdiocese of Baltimore
You are not alone. It was not your fault.
On April 5, 2023, Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown released a redacted report documenting the results of a four-year investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy members. The report reveals a history of widespread abuse and systemic cover-up by clergy and others within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. For decades, clergy members exploited their positions of power to prey on young people. The Archdiocese of Baltimore concealed and covered up known sexual abuse of children by reassigning pedophile priests, failing to report sexual abuse of children to law enforcement, and providing financial support to known abusers. The Maryland AG report lists over 150 individuals credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, acknowledging that more perpetrators may exist.
We can help.
Under new Maryland law, survivors can hold their perpetrators and the organizations and institutions that enabled those perpetrators accountable, without having to worry about a statute of limitations period barring their claims. On April 11, 2023, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed the Child Victims Act into law, eliminating the civil statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits (read more about it here). The new law went into effect on October 1, 2023.
However, just days before the new law took effect, the Archdiocese of Baltimore declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a result, certain deadlines will apply to survivors of childhood sexual abuse who were abused within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
With the assistance of the experienced national sex abuse attorneys at James Vernon & Weeks, P.A., survivors of child sexual abuse in Maryland can ensure that those who harmed them and those who facilitated the abuse are held responsible, regardless of when the abuse occurred. If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, we can help you navigate the complex legal landscape of filing a claim in a bankruptcy proceeding, to ensure your claim is not extinguished by the Archdiocese’s Chapter 11 filing.
Through extensive experience in holding such institutions accountable, we understand that survivors of religious sexual abuse often encounter obstacles when sharing their stories. These obstacles include fear, shame, isolation, blame, and retaliation within close-knit communities. Furthermore, the complexity of the legal system creates confusion and often deters survivors from seeking justice. Our attorneys provide valuable support and guidance, helping you understand your options and providing a sense of security during a challenging process. Drawing on decades of experience advocating for survivors and navigating a complex and highly specialized field of law, we ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
To consult with an attorney, please contact us or call toll-free at (888) 667-0683.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Survivors in Maryland may have the option to pursue legal action against their abusers and the institutions responsible for harboring them under the new Child Victims Act of 2023 (SB 686, HB 1). This may include filing a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for damages for physical, emotional, and psychological trauma resulting from the sexual abuse.
If you are survivor of abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, you may file a claim for compensation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but important deadlines and procedures will apply. Our attorneys have extensive experience navigating the legal landscape of Chapter 11 bankruptcies in this context, and we would be happy to provide you with a confidential consultation regarding your case.
Under the new Child Victims Act of 2023, Maryland has removed the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits. However, shortly before this law went into effect, the Archdiocese of Baltimore filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a result, certain claims procedures and deadlines specific to the bankruptcy will apply to claimants who suffered abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. For more information on those specific procedures, please contact us for a confidential consultation.
Yes, you may have the right to sue both the individual responsible for the abuse and the institution that harbored them, depending on where the abuse occurred and the circumstances of your case. Institutions may be held accountable for negligence, failure to protect, or covering up the abuse. Consult with one of our attorneys today to discuss the specific details of your case.
It’s important to seek an attorney with experience in handling these sensitive cases.
Our attorneys at James, Vernon & Weeks, P.A. have extensive national experience in litigating childhood sexual abuse cases against perpetrators and the institutions that harbored them. For more information on our attorneys’ distinguished experience with these matters, see our Attorneys page.
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore may have additional claims requirements and important deadlines under the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. For more information on these procedures, please contact us so that we can confidentially discuss the specifics of your matter.
In many cases, it is possible to maintain anonymity. Your attorney can discuss the available options, such as filing the lawsuit using a pseudonym or seeking protective orders to safeguard your privacy. In the case of bankruptcy filings, such as the Archdiocese of Baltimore Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claims filed by claimants in the bankruptcy are kept confidential.