Arizona Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Arizona is one of the few states that enacted a revival window in 2019, allowing survivors of sexual abuse, whose claims were previously expired, the legal right to file those claims until December 31, 2020. This new law helps survivors of sexual abuse and assault get justice against their abuser, while also allowing for compensation. These laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Arizona to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic church.
Below you will find information on Arizona’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling an Arizona sexual assault case has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Arizona settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors.
Arizona Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Arizona is one of 29 states to pass SOL reform legislation in 2019 and 2020. A highlight of their SOL reform was the enactment of a revival window to help sexual abuse survivors. The state has also eliminated the SOL for child sex trafficking criminal claims and opened a retroactive claims window for sexual abuse civil claims.
Criminal Statute of Limitation Laws for Arizona
In 2020, Arizona eliminated the SOL for child sex trafficking. Additionally, the state left no SOL for survivors of sexual abuse that were victims under the age of 15 or under the age of 18 if the abuser was a parent, guardian, teacher or priest. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on their criminal statute of limitation laws, gave Arizona a Criminal SOL score of 3, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 3 is defined as a criminal SOL eliminated for felonies only.
Civil Statute of Limitation Laws for Arizona
On May 27, 2019, Arizona opened a 19-month revival window for expired civil SOL claims against perpetrators, private organizations and government. This window also revives the SOL for sex abuse survivors up to age 30. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on their civil statute of limitation laws, gave Arizona a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 2, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 2 is defined as a civil SOL age cap between 26 and 34 years old for survivors. Additionally, Child USA gave Arizona a related SOL Revival Law score of 3 on the same 1-5 scale. A score of 3 is defined as a revival window or revival up to age 30-54, for claims against perpetrators and private organizations.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Arizona, contact us now. Due to Arizona’s improved statute of limitations laws, specifically it’s new revival window, those sexually abused as a minor likely still have a claim against their abuser, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Even if the abuser is deceased, you may still have a claim against the organization responsible. Don’t wait, the revival window closes on December 31, 2020.
Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a clergy sexual abuse claim.
Arizona Sexual Abuse Settlements & Jury Awards
It is estimated that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix and Tucson have combined to pay out nearly $40,000,000 to survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of its clergy and other church personnel. Below outlines the timeline of those settlements.
1994 – The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix settled out of court with a Scottsdale couple whose son was molested by a priest, Rev. George Bredemann, for an undisclosed amount. The diocese is said to have settled an earlier claim in 1991 against the same priest.
February 2002 – The Tucson Diocese reached a confidential settlement, estimated to be worth at least $15,000,000, for claims involving four priests who sexually abused children from 1966 to 1989 in parishes in Tucson and Yuma. While the majority of the documents surrounding this settlement were sealed, one document, a deposition taken of the bishop of the Tucson Diocese, Rev. Manual Moreno, was released. The deposition describes a ‘secret code of the collar’ which states that church officials failed to act on information related to sexual abuse within its dioceses. Two of the priests named in this settlement, Revs. Pedro Luke and William Byrne, have died. The two others, Monsignor Robert Trupia and the Rev. Michael Teta, were suspended from duty at the time but still received a salary and health benefits paid by the church. Both were later laicized in 2004.
August 2003 – The Diocese of Tucson agreed to pay $1,800,000 to five girls sexually abused while they were students at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Yuma from 1999-2000 by their teacher, Phillip Gregory Spears. Spears was convicted of having child pornography in 2002 and was put on trial in 2003 for the child molestation charges related to this settlement and found guilty. Both the 2002 and 2003 convictions were overturned on appeal. In 2007 the molestation charges were refiled. Spears was found guilty and sentenced to 34 years in prison.
September 2005 – It is estimated that over 50 victims received $22,200,000 as part of the trust set up for survivors in the Tucson Diocese’s bankruptcy reorganization. The claims go back as far as the 1950s with some claims as recent as 2002. While not all names of the priests accused and part of this settlement were released, the following were included:
In addition, the Diocese released a list in December of 2004 naming the clergy and other church personnel to ‘whom the diocese is aware of credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor.’
- Deacon Ray Miranda
- Deacon Ron DeChant
- Msgr. John Oliver
- Msgr. Robert Trupia
- Msgr. Walter Rosensweig
- Phillip Gregory Speers
- Rev. Anthony Jablonowski
- Rev. Carlos Cocio
- Rev. Charles Rourke
- Rev. Claudio Riol
- Rev. Clemens Schlueter
- Rev. Daniel Taylor
- Rev. Fernando Manzo
- Rev. Floyd G. Stromberg
- Rev. Francis Miller, O.C.D.
- Rev. George Dyke
- Rev. George Pirrung
- Rev. James Thompson, C.M.
- Rev. John P. Doran
- Rev. Juan Guillen
- Rev. Julian Sanz
- Kevin P. Barmasse
- Rev. Lucien Munier de la Pierre
- Rev. Michael Teta
- Rev. Patrick Callanan
- Rev. Richard Butler, O.P.
- Rev. Richard Judd
- Rev. Robert Gluch
- Rev. Robert Thomas
- Rev. Steven Stencil
- Rev. Thomas Purcell
- Rev. Thomas Warren
- Rev. William Byrne
- Sister Rosaria Riter, O.S.B.
*The settlements listed above are offered for educational purposes only and do not guarantee any future outcome or settlement. Each legal situation is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. We do not maintain that is a full list of all settlements in the state of Arizona but merely a grouping of those we choose to share on our website. Please contact us if you would like additional settlements included or if you notice any inaccuracies on our site. We strive to provide our viewers the most up to date and accurate information as possible.
Click to view our larger database of accused priests. Here you can search by accused clergy first and last name, Parish/Diocese, city and state, and even by the years of their assignments.
Arizona Sexual Abuse Lawsuits: News & Updates
The window for filing a claim of childhood sexual abuse in Arizona has been extended to December 31, 2020. Click the headline to read more…
The Diocese of Phoenix released over 100 names of clergy that were accused of sexual abuse. Click the headline to read more…