Mississippi Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Mississippi’s civil statute of limitations (SOL) laws are less victim friendly in providing survivors of childhood sexual abuse an avenue to justice than many other states around the country. There are also no civil SOL reform bills scheduled to be introduced to the state’s Legislature at this time, meaning sexual abuse survivors will have to wait even longer to potentially receive any justice. SOL laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Mississippi to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic Church.
Below you will find information on Mississippi’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Mississippi sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Mississippi settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of Mississippi’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by Mississippi’s Dioceses.
Mississippi Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Mississippi has made little progress in the past decade towards helping survivors of sexual abuse get civil justice. The state’s civil age cap is on the low end of the spectrum when compared to many other states, which means it could be doing much more to help survivors. There also doesn’t appear to be any help on the horizon as there are no civil SOL reform bills scheduled to be introduced to the state’s Legislature.
Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Mississippi
In Mississippi, there is no criminal SOL for many child sex abuse felonies like rape, felonious abuse/battery of a child, touching a child with a lustful purpose, and many others. The SOL for sexual battery or fondling of a vulnerable person is 5 years from the offense. Other felonies and misdemeanors have an SOL of 2 years from the incident. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on its criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Mississippi a Criminal SOL score of 3, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 3 is defined as elimination of the criminal SOL for some/all felonies only.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Mississippi
In Mississippi, the civil SOL for child sex abuse claims is capped at age 24. There is no discovery rule for civil actions in Mississippi, nor has a revival window been opened. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on its civil statute of limitations laws, gave Mississippi a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 1, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 1 is defined as a civil SOL age cap age 25 or younger.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Mississippi, contact us now. Due to Mississippi’s current laws, those sexually abused as a minor may still have a claim against their abuser, depending on how long ago the abuse occurred. Even if the abuser is deceased, you may still have a claim against the organization responsible.
Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a clergy sexual abuse claim.
Mississippi Sexual Abuse Settlements
March 2006 – The Diocese of Jackson agreed to pay more than $5.1 million to settle six lawsuits where 19 people claimed they were sexually abused as children by priests. The timeline of the abuse runs from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. The diocese paid less than $1 million of the settlement, the remainder was to be paid by church insurance policies.
August 2019 – The Franciscan Friars agreed to pay $15,000 to settle sexual abuse claims with La Jarvis Love. Mr. Love claimed that he was sexually abused by Brother Paul West and Brother Donald Lucas at the St. Francis of Assisi School in Greenwood when he was only nine or ten years old. He was not represented by legal counsel when he agreed to the settlement.
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 Mississippi 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.
Mississippi Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
Catholic Dioceses in Mississippi have released the names of priests and clergy members who they deemed to be ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a child.
The lists below will be updated as litigation or investigations are concluded so that new names of credibly accused priests in Mississippi can be added.
Use the links below to navigate directly to a particular diocese’s clergy list.
Diocese of Biloxi Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Year of Incardination/ Incardination||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Morales||Jose Vazquez||Diocese of Biloxi||2.008||Ministry prohibited 2015||Parochial Vicar: Immaculate Conception, Laurel (1/10/09 - 7/1/11); Parochial Vicar: Sacred Heart, Hattiesburg (7/1/11 - 1/15/14); Pastor, St. Francis Xavier, Wiggins and St. Lucy Mission: Lucedale (1/15/14 - 9/9/15)|
|2||Axton||Jerome J.||Diocese of Biloxi||1.983||Deceased 2020||Parochial Vicar: Nativity BVM Cathedral, Biloxi (6/10/83 - 1/14/88); Parochial Vicar: St. John, Gulfport (1/14/88 - 4/6/89); Parochial Vicar: Sacred Heart, Pascagoula (4/6/89 - 4/28/91); Parochial Vicar: St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs (4/28/91 - 9/21/92)
|3||Nguyen||Vincent The Quang||Diocese Vietnamese Apostolate||1.975||Ministry prohibited 1989||Parochial Vicar: St. Michael, Biloxi|
Diocese of Jackson Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Balser||Edward||Diocese of Jackson||1956||Deceased 2019||St. Peter, Jackson; St. Jude, Pearl; St. Paul, Flowood; Holy Family, Jackson|
|2||Boyce||Thomas||Diocese of Jackson||1966||Deceased 2002||St. Mary, Batesville; St. Jude, Pearl; All Saints, Belzoni; St. Michael, Vicksburg; St. Peter, Jackson; St. Alphonsus, Ocean Springs|
|3||Broussard||George||Diocese of Jackson||1966||Deceased 2007||St. Clare, Waveland; St. Peter, Jackson; Diocesan Chancellor; St. John, Gulfport|
|4||Canonici||Paul||Diocese of Jackson||1957||Deceased 2020||St. Joseph School, Jackson/Madison; St. Francis, Madison; Superintendent of Education; St. Joseph, Starkville; St. Joseph, Gluckstadt|
|5||Downing||Nelius||Diocese of Jackson||1914||Deceased prior to accusation||Sacred Heart, Canton; St. Patrick, Meridian; St. Mary, Natchez; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis; St. Elizabeth, Clarksdale; St. Michael, Biloxi;|
|6||Haddican||Bernard||Diocese of Jackson||1960||Deceased 1996||Sacred Heart, Rosedale; Our Lady of Victories, Cleveland; St. Elizabeth, Clarksdale; St. Michael, Vicksburg; St. Mary, Shelby; St. John, Oxford; St. Joseph, Greenville; St. Richard, Jackson; Sacred Heart, Hattiesburg; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis; St. Mary, Natchez|
|7||Harris||Kenneth||Diocese of Jackson||1940||Deceased prior to accusation 1964||St. Joseph, Greenville; St. James, Leland; St. Bernardine, San Berardino, CA; St. Mary, Natchez, Sacred Heart, Hattiesburg; St. Paul, Vicksburg; St. Teresa, Chatawa|
|8||Irwin||Michael||Diocese of Jackson||1970||Deceased prior to accusation 1993||St. Mary, Natchez; St. Paul, Vicksburg|
|9||Kircher||James||Diocese of Jackson||1963||Deceased 2007||St. Benedict/ Immaculate Conception, Indianola; Sacred Heart, Canton; St. Mary, Shelby; St. Therese, Jackson; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Lumberton (Seneca); Immaculate Heart of Mary, Greenwood; St. Paul, Vicksburg|
|10||Leonard||John||Diocese of Jackson||1948||Deceased prior to accusation 2003||St. Paul, Vicksburg; St. Francis, Shaw; St. Mary, Batesville; St. John, Sardis; Our Lady of Victories, Cleveland; All Saints, Belzoni; St. Mary, Yazoo City; Our Lady of the Gulf, Bay St. Louis|
Click to view our larger list 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.