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Clergy Abuse

Priest and Clergy Sexual Abuse includes a variety of illegal and improper acts perpetrated against children and adolescents by priests or other clergy members involving sexual assault of varying degrees. These acts include relationships where trust was built between a child and a member of the clergy who exhibits predatory behavior was shrouded by the trust and respect that clergy member enjoyed which led to non-consensual sexual assaults and acts of molestation.  The event can be a single, non-consensual encounter or it may have involved multiple assaults over an extended period of time.


In all alleged Priest or Clergy Sexual Abuse situations, the failure of the Clergy member’s employer (i.e. superiors, the church) to immediately report the crime to police and other authorities, or the failure to investigate and address the event(s) affects the abuse survivor.


Are you or someone you love a survivor of sexual assault from a priest or other clergy member?

If you are a survivor of sexual assault from a priest or other clergy member, we understand the continued horror, shame, guilt affecting your life and the difficulty of coming forward. But survivors of abuse are increasingly turning to the legal system to compensate them for the lifelong damage and injury they have suffered. Nonetheless, holding the responsible person and institutions accountable for their crimes and indifference can provide a measure of justice and recompense to abuse survivors. Oftentimes, survivors can assert their legal rights through confidential mediation thereby avoiding the need for litigation. However, if litigation is necessary, a case can be filed with an attempt to keep the survivor anonymous.


Perhaps as strong and enduring as any other effects on a survivor of abuse are the shame and guilt that can be overwhelming and debilitating, compounded by a resulting mistrust of others and avoidance of any acknowledgment or conversation concerning the abuse. Be assured that any conversation about your situation with our firm is confidential. When we respond to an inquiry, we do so with the sensitivity, respect and the discretion necessary to provide meaningful feedback. If you prefer to speak with us directly regarding your incident, please call us at 949-715-5120. 


Over the past decade, survivors of sexual abuse around the world have stepped forward with allegations that their abusers were Roman Catholic Church clergy. Many have told disturbing stories of abuse that occurred while they were still children. The wave of allegations has spurred a movement toward holding individual clergy, and the church leadership and institutions that enabled them, to account. In jurisdictions across the country, including in Illinois, New York, and California, survivors have sought that accountability through civil legal actions for damages and other relief.


The website BishopAccountability.org has collected and published records of allegations against Roman Catholic clergy around the world. The website identifies parishes where priests alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct once served.


Heaviside Reed Zaic is based in California and Washington, D.C. We serve clients and consult with attorneys across the nation. We believe survivors of clergy abuse should have the opportunity to seek accountability in the manner of their choosing.


On May 14, 2019, a group of independent mediators and administrators established a new compensation program for survivors of child sexual abuse by the Catholic church.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse in any of these counties, you may be eligible for significant compensation under this program.


The Independent Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors 

The Independent Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests was formed by independent mediators who had previously established similar programs in other states. Formed in cooperation with the Catholic church, the program allocates funds for those who have been abused in the:


  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles
  • Diocese of Sacramento
  • Diocese of San Bernardino
  • Diocese of San Diego
  • Diocese of Orange
  • Diocese of Fresno


To speak with our compassionate, dedicated clergy abuse attorneys about your legal options for pursuing accountability through the courts, call us at 1-877-715-5120 or visit us online to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation

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