Los Angeles Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney
Upholding the Rights of Victims of Sexual Abuse
In recent years, more and more people are finding the courage to speak up about sexual abuse they endured as a child that was carried out by priests, bishops, and other members of various types of churches and religious institutions. Our Los Angeles clergy sexual abuse lawyers from Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP encourage you to do the same if you are feeling it is the right time to take a stand against your abusers. We are here to explain your legal options, determine if you can seek damages, and amplify your voice.
You can call (213) 267-3640 at any time to begin your clergy sexual abuse claim.
California’s Expanded Time Limits of Clergy Sex Abuse Claims
A new statute of limitations law went into effect in California recently. It noticeably expanded the time allowed for clergy sexual abuse survivors to come forth, share their stories, and seek justice and, in some cases, compensation.
Under the updated California sexual abuse law, victims of childhood sexual abuse can file a civil lawsuit:
- Before they turn 40 years of age; or
- Within 5 years after the abuse is discovered or first reported
Previously, the law was limited to a much lower 26-year-old cap and/or within 3 years of the abuse’s discovery. The statute of limitations was updated due to a growing understanding that many survivors of extreme childhood trauma, such as sexual assault carried out by a person of authority like a clergy member, repress memories of the incidents as a coping mechanism. Many others who do not repress their memories report feeling too ashamed to speak up, despite knowing that they were exploited at no fault of their own. The increased time limits aim to allow more people more time to decide how and when they want to speak and stand up for themselves and against their abusers.
The Good a Civil Lawsuit Can Bring
At Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP, our clergy sexual abuse attorneys understand that it can be intimidating it can be to tell the world about the harm inflicted upon you by a clergy member many people trust. You might feel hesitant to seek justice through a civil claim or lawsuit because it can seem like it might just cause more hardship than good. We would like to encourage you to carefully weigh your options. When everything is considered, we think you will see that there are so many benefits to holding a sexual abuser accountable, even if a criminal case against them never leads to a conviction.
Consider these three benefits of taking a civil claim against an abusive priest, pastor, or another clergy member:
- Sense of closure: If you have used the professional services of a therapist to talk about your childhood trauma inflicted by a clergy member, then you might have already been told that finding a sense of closure can help you move on. The end of a successful civil lawsuit is a powerful moment and one that might give you the closure you have been seeking.
- Protect others: Your courage to point at a clergy member from your past and say that they sexually abused you might be the action needed to protect others from future harm carried about by that same individual. You could also inspire others to speak up against that same abuser, which could also strengthen the validity of your claim.
- Find financial stability: People with childhood trauma often have difficulty with socializing, engaging in educational courses, and holding gainful employment. As a result, you could be earning well below your potential due to the harm caused by an abusive clergy member. A successful civil claim can sometimes award the claimant financial damages that account for the financial hardship they have experienced as a side effect of sexual abuse, as well as to penalize their abuser and the religious institution that harbored them.
Accusations Against Dioceses & Other Religious Institutions
It is important to remember that the average clergy sexual abuse claim is not brought solely against a single bad actor. Instead, there is often evidence that suggests the religious institution or house in which the abuser practiced had ample knowledge of their abusive actions yet did nothing to stop or punish them. When this is the case, a lawsuit can be brought against the harboring religious institution as well, which can increase the likelihood of a claimant being eligible to receive a fair and maximized amount of compensation in return for their pain and suffering.
If you think you have a clergy sexual abuse claim to file against a religious practitioner or institution in the greater Los Angeles area, contact our firm as soon as you can. Initial consultations are free and completely confidential.
- $1,500,000 $1.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR TRIP & FALL
- $1,225,000 $1.225 MILLION VERDICT FOR A REAR END CRASH
- $1,000,000 $1 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR MOTORCYCLE CRASH
- $1,000,000 $1 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR PREMISES LIABILITY INJURY
- $1,000,000 $1 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR RIDESHARE ACCIDENT
- $750,000 $750,000 VERDICT FOR PREMISES LIABILITY
- $700,000 $700,000 FOR CAR ACCIDENT
- $280,000 $280,000 SETTLEMENT FOR SLIP AND FALL
- $250,000 $250,000 SETTLEMENT FOR INJURY AT APARTMENT COMPLEX