Statutes of limitations on sex abuse lawsuits have been extended across the country. This means that victims can sue for any abuse that occurred outside the normal statute of limitations. Arizona’s laws have been updated, too. Read on to find out more about clergy sex abuse and the new laws being introduced in Arizona about the statute of limitations.
Arizona Statute of Limitations Update
Victims have until they turn 30 years old in most cases. That said, Arizona’s most recent update allowed retroactive lawsuits for sex abuse until January 2021. After January 2021, the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits for child sex abuse enables a victim to sue until they turn 30 years old. There is no statute of limitations on filing criminal charges for felony sexual abuse.
History of Clergy Sex Abuse
People have been making claims of sexual abuse against the Catholic Church for decades. The first legal proceedings for clergy abuse in the US churches were in 1986. However, verbal claims of sexual abuse in the Church go back even further than that, with some accusations dating back to the 1960s.
The world found out about sex abuse in the Catholic Church in 2002, when The Boston Globe broke a story exposing widespread abuse within the Catholic Church. The Church had previously had a history of covering up any claims of sexual abuse by silencing victims and sweeping any allegations under the rug.
Since that story broke in 2002, local dioceses of the Catholic Church have released the names of 5,100 clergy members that are possible sexual abusers. Today, 1,700 of those men are living out their lives like normal people, unsupervised and holding jobs as coaches, teachers, and counselors.
Settlements for Clergy Abuse
Settlements for clergy abuse have been varied, with some plaintiffs winning a few thousand and others coming out with millions. The average settlement for clergy abuse is around $268,466 after legal fees. Depending on where, when, and how your abuse happened, you could win much more than this.
The Catholic Church Today
Even though the Catholic Church has taken several steps towards resolving claims of extensive sexual abuse, they have a long way to go. Since 2002, people have continued filing abuse cases against the Church, giving the impression that the Church is still silencing victims. In November 2020, the Vatican released a detailed report that told the story of years of ongoing sexual abuse by the archbishop of Washington DC, Theodore McCarrick — a once outspoken “opponent” of sexual abuse in the Church.
In 2019, 69% of American Catholics said that they thought abuse in the Catholic Church was an ongoing problem. Today, many criticize the Church for having weak policies, gaps in procedures, and ongoing habits that allow sexual abuse to continue.
Get A Free Case Review
Now is the time to take advantage of new extensions on statutes of limitation across Arizona. If you or someone you love was a victim of clergy sex abuse and is looking to file a lawsuit against their abuser, our office is here to help you file your claim as soon as possible. Call our office today at 602-955-0055 for a free case review where one of our team members will review the details of your case and talk with you about your options for the next steps.