The passage of the Child Victims Act in New York has made some important changes to the law that now gives greater rights to the victims of childhood sexual abuse. Many institutions, such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Catholic Church, have been hit hard by lawsuits alleging that leaders and priests have perpetrated sexual abuse against children. The one-year lookback period in the law has made it possible for survivors who were past the statute of limitations to sue their abusers and the institutions that enable them. Bonina & Bonina, P.C. filed the first such lawsuit in New York City.
Despite a long list of accused priests and thousands of dollars in payouts, the Catholic Church has failed to release a list of the priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Now the website ProPublica has compiled its own searchable nationwide database.
The database can be used to search for credibly accused clergy based on reports released by dioceses and religious orders across the country. The credibility of the allegations was determined by the diocese or religious order that released the reports. There has been no mandate or directive from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to release this information, but 178 bishops, archbishops, and religious community leaders across the country have chosen to do so as of January 20, 2020. This comes after decades of shielding the identity of sexual abusers.
The revelations were spurred by a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report that named hundreds of priests as part of a statewide clergy abuse investigation. Nationwide, the names of 5,800 priests have been released and are part of the searchable database. Unfortunately, the names of many abusers may have been omitted as there is no standard for determining whether an accusation is credible. In addition, there are still 41 dioceses and eparchies that have failed to release reports.
However, this database gives victims, and the public, the opportunity to search through these lists of the credibly accused. The database can be searched by name, diocese, or city. There are over 6,700 names in the database, over 5,800 of which are unique. More than half of the priests in the database are now deceased. The information about each priest varies based on what was provided in a released report.
Talk to a Child Victims Act Attorney
If you’ve been sexually abused by a member of the clergy and have waited to come forward, it is important that you consult with an experienced Child Victims Act attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we are committed and compassionate attorneys who have helped thousands of injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.