Living with the emotional scars resulting from clergy abuse can be devastating for survivors and their families. For many survivors, seeing the perpetrator convicted for his misconduct can be an important part of the healing process. For the survivors of clergy abuse in one Wisconsin diocese, a recent conviction of an ex-priest in state court provided this awaited justice.
A Wisconsin state judge was the latest official to impose a maximum sentence on a convicted clergy member. According to the allegations in the complaint, the convicted ex-priest sexually assaulted at least eleven young boys in the 1980s while serving as a hospital chaplain and local parish pastor. The abuser was able to evade arrest for decades by moving out of state, and then to Indonesia. He also received protection from Church superiors, including at least one bishop. The former priest received the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison after being convicted of two charges of child sexual assault and will be placed on a registered sex offender list for the rest of his life.
Adult survivors played an important part in his conviction and sentencing by recalling their experiences to the court. The men explained in their “victim statements” the affects the abuse had on their lives, including their ongoing emotional distress. Several survivors spoke to the press after the conviction about the closure they had experienced in witnessing justice finally being served.
Many survivors live for years with the secrets of their abuse. Legal victories serve as encouragement to other clergy abuse survivors to come forward. Reporting abuse allows survivors to seek justice against predator priests and the church officials who covered up their misconduct. Obtaining justice in the form of a conviction often provides much needed healing for survivors.
The aftermath of clergy abuse is often a lifetime of suffering. By filing a civil lawsuit against the perpetrators of clergy abuse, including the abusive priests and their superiors, survivors can obtain compensation for the cost of medical treatment, psychological counseling, prescription drugs, lost wages, and emotional distress damages.
If you or a loved one survived clergy abuse, you are not alone. At Williams Cedar, our dedicated Metuchen clergy abuse lawyers will stand by your side as you seek the justice you deserve. We will work tirelessly until we obtain the compensation you deserve for the trauma you have suffered. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we proudly serve clergy abuse survivors and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Cherry Hill and nationwide. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 856-470-9777 or contact us online.