Buffalo Clergy Sex Abuse Lawyers
Recently, allegations of clergy sex abuse have been rising at alarming rates. Clergy members of various religions have taken advantage of their authority and the relationship of trust that exists between a clergy member and their congregation.
Jed Dietrich, Esq. understands that each victim of clergy sex abuse has a unique story about what happened and the impact it has had on his or her life. You, and your loved ones, deserve the best personal injury lawyer in Buffalo, New York to handle your claim. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his top rated team of Buffalo, New York clergy sex abuse lawyers will battle to obtain the best possible result for YOU!
If you, or a loved one, experienced sex abuse by a clergy member, contact us today at (716) 839-3939 for your free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will come to you and there is never a fee until we WIN for you.Clergy Sex Abuse in New York
According to the Database of Publicly Accused Priests in the United States, currently 418 Roman Catholic priests have been accused of sex abuse in New York State.
The Diocese of Buffalo is the second highest ranking diocese of clergy sex abuse in New York State.
On December 13, 2018, WKBW compiled a list of priests in the Buffalo area who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
To date, it is estimated that the Roman Catholic Church has paid out over $3 billion dollars in settlements related to clergy sex abuse allegations.
Although there has been a recent focus on clergy sex abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, there have also been reported incidents of sex abuse within other religious organizations.
If you, or a loved one, experienced sex abuse at the hands of a priest, minister, rabbi or other clergy member, contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. NOW at (716) 839-3939 so that we can help you. Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his top rated team of clergy abuse lawyers in Buffalo, New York are always fighting to obtain the best result for you.What is Clergy Sex Abuse?
Clergy sex abuse involves a clergy member’s inappropriate use of his or her position of authority and power to sexually abuse a member of the congregation.
Clergy members may include, but are not limited to:
- Deacons; or
New York State Penal Law generally defines sex abuse as subjecting another person to unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact.
Lack of consent results from:
- Imbalance of power between the abuser and victim;
- Use of force by an abuser; or
- A victim’s inability to consent due to age, mental disability, physical disability or other impairment.
Sex abuse includes not only non-consensual fondling and touching of a sexual nature, but also:
- Unwanted touching, fondling, patting or squeezing of the body, especially a person’s private parts;
- Engaging in sexual contact with a minor or an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to age or physical or mental incapacity;
- Sexual stimulation of any nature, including oral and penetrative sex;
- Removal of clothing with the use of threat or force;
- Sexual intimidation, threats and comments;
- Repeated and unwanted sexual remarks, behaviors and gestures;
- Refusing to engage in safe sex practices;
- Exposing children to explicit images or sexually charged language or pornography;
- Taking or requesting inappropriate photographs of a minor for personal use or distribution; and
- Revealing oneself to a child.
This list is not exhaustive. If you, or a loved one, are a victim of clergy sex abuse, immediately contact Jed Dietrich, Esq. and the top rated Buffalo, New York clergy sex abuse lawyers of the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. at (716) 839-3939 for a free consultation. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Strict Time Deadlines to Bring a Clergy Sex Abuse Claim in New York
There are strict time deadlines for bringing a clergy sex abuse claim in New York. Failure to file a lawsuit within the applicable time deadline, also known as the statute of limitations, will bar your right to do so.
In New York, an individual who was sexually abused as a minor must file a civil lawsuit against the abuser within 5 years after turning 18; namely, 23 years old.
Additionally, an individual who was sexually abused as a minor can file a civil lawsuit for negligence against a third-party such as a church or other religious institution. This type of lawsuit must be filed within 3 years after turning 18; namely, 21 years old.
Presently, efforts are being made to change the statute of limitations for child sex abuse in New York.
Proposed legislation would either eliminate civil and criminal child abuse statutes of limitations altogether or create a one-year window for victims of childhood sex abuse to bring civil lawsuits against their abuser and the responsible institution.
This area of the law is rapidly changing; you are best advised to contact our firm immediately to preserve your rights.
Adults can also be victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Given the strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims in New York, it is important that you contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. today at (716) 839-3939 to know your rights.Who are the Defendants in a Clergy Sex Abuse Case?
Generally, a victim can file a civil lawsuit against a clergy sex abuser for physical and emotional injuries.
In addition, victims may also be able to file a civil lawsuit against a third-party such as a church or other religious institution that was responsible for hiring or supervising the clergy member.
If the clergy sex abuse took place at an institution such as church, temple or other religious facility, the religious institution may be liable if it was negligent. That is, if it failed to act with the same level of care that a reasonable person or institution would have in the same or similar circumstances.
Such negligence could be established through evidence of:
- Negligent hiring;
- Negligent supervision;
- Hiding or concealing sex abuse of minors;
- Failure to conduct thorough background checks;
- Failure to warn or act reasonably in response to dangers posed by the clergy member;
- Failure to conduct a proper investigation into known allegations of a clergy member’s sexual misconduct; or
- Failure to maintain proper protocols or procedures.
Each clergy sex abuse case is unique. If you, or a loved one, have experienced clergy sex abuse, contact Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his top rated team of clergy sex abuse lawyers in Buffalo, New York at (716) 839-3939 for your free consultation.What are the Effects of Clergy Sex Abuse?
Often, victims of clergy sex abuse do not report the abuse right away, or at all. They may feel threatened or fear that no one will believe them because clergy members are often held in high regard in their religious community.
Victims of clergy sex abuse can be left with physical, mental and emotional injuries that stay with them for the rest of their lives. Victims may blame themselves for the awful treatment that they have endured and can be left feeling ashamed.
Clergy sex abuse can cause unhealthy ideas about sexual relationships; furthermore, those who were abused may suffer from emotional distress and thereafter engage in destructive behaviors.
Common effects of sex abuse include:
- Depression – A mood disorder associated with prolonged periods of sadness or hopelessness; and
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – An anxiety disorder which results from the experience of a traumatic event and can lead to flashbacks, hyper-arousal and avoidance.
Sadly, children are often victims of clergy sex abuse.
A clergy member’s abuse of their authority and the relationship of comfort and trust that exists with the child and their family can have tragic consequences on a child’s life.
Child victims of clergy sex abuse may suffer from a reduced sense of self-worth, low self-esteem and depression. As a result, these children may experience sudden changes in behavior including violent outbursts or decreased quality of schoolwork.
Later in life, victims of childhood clergy sex abuse are often likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, personality disorders and alcohol or drug addictions.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced clergy sex abuse, contact Jed Dietrich, Esq. and his team at (716) 839-3939 for respectful, compassionate and the top clergy sex abuse representation in Buffalo, New York.
Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at (716) 839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Buffalo, New York. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!