Nebraska Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Nebraska’s civil statute of limitations (SOL) laws appear to be very victim friendly in providing survivors of childhood sexual abuse an avenue to justice. However, the civil SOL that applies to entities that may have enabled or covered up the sexual abuse, like the Catholic Church, is extremely short, making it much less victim friendly than other states around the country. SOL laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Nebraska to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic Church.
Below you will find information on Nebraska’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Nebraska sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Nebraska settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of Nebraska’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by Nebraska’s Dioceses.
Nebraska Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Based on the language of the statute, Nebraska appears to have made great progress towards helping survivors of sexual abuse get civil justice. However, the state’s civil SOL has only been eliminated against individuals who committed the sexual abuse. The civil SOL for an entity who may have enabled the abuse is capped at age 33, which is on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to many other states, and means Nebraska could be doing much more to help survivors.
Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Nebraska
In Nebraska, there is no criminal SOL for most child sex abuse felonies. The SOL for misdemeanors is 18 months after the offense. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on its criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Nebraska a Criminal SOL score of 4, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 4 is defined as an elimination of the criminal SOL for some felonies and misdemeanors.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Utah
In Nebraska, there is no civil SOL for claims against perpetrators of child sex abuse. Claims for sexual assault of a child against other types of defendants are capped at age 33 and claims for injury resulting from other child sex abuse crimes are capped at age 25. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on its civil statute of limitations laws, gave Nebraska a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 5, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 5 is defined as no civil SOL age cap or an eliminated SOL.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Nebraska, contact us now. Due to Nebraska’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.
Nebraska Sexual Abuse Settlements
June 2002 – A jury awarded an Omaha man and his mother $800,000 as compensation for the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Rev. Daniel Herek while he was an altar boy at St. Richard Church in Omaha. The Archdiocese of Omaha was ordered to pay $750,000 to the man and $50,000 to his mother. Before trial, the archdiocese admitted it had been negligent in its supervision of Herek, so the jury just had to decide how much the archdiocese would have to pay in damages.
*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 Nebraska 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.
Nebraska Catholic Diocese Releases Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
Two of the three Catholic Dioceses in Nebraska have released the names of priests and clergy members who they deemed to be ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a child. As of August 2021, the Diocese of Grand Island has not produced a list of priests and clergy members it deemed to be ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a child.
The list below will be updated as litigation or investigations are concluded so that new names of credibly accused priests in Nebraska can be added.
Use the links below to navigate directly to a particular diocese’s clergy list.
Archdiocese of Omaha Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Clergy Status||Diocese/Order||Assignments||Year(s) of Alleged Incident(s)||# of Victims|
|1||Fiala||John||Deceased-2017. Incarcerated in Texas for sexual abuse at time of death.||Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity||Papillion, St. Columbkille; Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Omaha, St. Joan of Arc; Omaha, St. Peter; Omaha, Christ the King; Spencer, St. Mary; Wisner, St. Joseph Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity||2008||2|
|2||Jordan||Emilio Morales||Left Archdiocese of Omaha-2003. Whereabouts unknown.||Extern, Diocese of Zacapa (Guatemala)||South Sioux City, St. Michael; Omaha, St. Ann; Schuyler, St. Augustine||200-2002||Unknown|
|3||Nigli||Francis||Removed from public ministry-June 2018||Omaha||Omaha, St. Vincent de Paul; Papillion, St. Columbkille; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Amelia, St. Joseph; Omaha, St. Wenceslaus||2013||Unknown|
|4||Syring||Andrew||Left priestly ministry by resignation in October 2018||Omaha||Schuyler, Divine Mercy; Omaha, St. Bernard; Omaha. St. Wenceslaus; West Point, St. Mary; Monterey, St. Boniface; Aloys, St. Aloysius; St. Charles, St. Anthony||2013-2014||Unknown|
|6||Allgaier||Robert||Removed-2001||Omaha||Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Ralston, St. Gerald||Prior to 2001||Unknown|
|7||Arkfeld||Richard||Retired and deceased-1996||Omaha||Omaha, St. Rose; Atkinson, St. Joseph; Omaha, Holy Cross; Clyde, St. Patrick; Lynch, Assumption; Niobrara, St. William; Ewing, St. Peter of Alcantara; Randolph, St. Jane Frances de Chantal; St. Charles, St. Anthony; Coleridge, St. Michael; Belden, St. Mary Newcastle, St. Peter; Ponca, St. Joseph||1980s and prior||Multiple|
|8||Buckson||John||Resigned-2002||Omaha||Omaha, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Omaha, St. Francis of Assisi; Omaha, St. Agnes; Omaha, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Schuyler, St. Augustine||Prior to 1994|
|9||Cleary||Donald||Removed-2018, Laicized-2019||Omaha||Omaha, Holy Cross; Omaha, Christ the King; Omaha, St. Peter; Omaha, St. Patrick; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Fordyce, St. John; Constance, St. Joseph; Wayne, St. Mary; Fullerton, St. Peter; Clarks, St. Peter; North Bend, St. ; Charles Borromeo; Snyder, St. Leo the Great Omaha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton||1980, 1987||Multiple|
|10||Dvorak||Franklin||Removed-2012, Living life of prayer and penance||Omaha||Norfolk, Sacred Heart; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Spencer, St. Mary; Cleridge, St. Michael; Mission of Belden; Hartington, Holy Trinity; Omaha, St. Wencesalus; Omaha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton||1970-1972||Unknown|
Diocese of Lincoln Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status||Diocese/Order||Assignments|
|1||Copenhaver||John||1988||Retired-2012. Faculties revoked and public ministry restricted-2012. Died-2021/||Lincoln||St. John (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Michael (Fairbury); St. Mary (Alexandria); Sacred Heart (Shelby); Aquinas High School (David City); Saint Joseph (Superior); Sacred Heart (Nelson); St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); St. Cecilia (Hastings); St. Patrick (McCook), Sacred Heart (McCook); St. Ann (Hayes Center); St. Catherine (Indianola); Nursing Homes & Prison Ministry (Lincoln)|
|2||Crowley||Clarence||1937||Died-1986.||Lincoln||St. Joseph (Beatrice); St. Cecilia (Hastings); Sacred Heart (Hebron); Holy Family (Lincoln); Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln); St. Michael (Cheney)|
|3||Murray||Jerome||1949||Retired-1999. Faculties revoked and public ministry restricted-2002-2005. Died-2016.||Lincoln||St. Joseph (Beatrice); St. Elizabeth’s Hospital; St. Michael (Fairbury); St. Joseph (Paul);Veterans Hospital; Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Mary (Davey); St. John (Cambridge); St. Joseph (York); St. Joseph (Paul); St. Clara (Peru); St. Bernard (Julian); Lourdes High School (Nebraska City); St. Patrick (Imperial); St. John (Wauneta); St. James (Curtis); St. Joseph (Farnam)|
|4||Piorkowski||Aloysius||1935||Left Diocese of Lincoln-1959. Died-1978.||Unknown||St. Mary (Gdynia, Poland); Military Batory Vessel of the Gdynia - America Lines; Hospital (Park Ridge, Illinois); St. Pancratius (Chicago, Illinois); St. Wenceslaus (Wilber); St. James (Cortland); Lincoln Air Force Base; Boys Town (Omaha); Diocese of Rockford|
|5||Benton||James||1973||Placed on leave/retired-2017. Faculties revoked and public ministry restricted-2018.||Lincoln||Sacred Heart (Lincoln); St. Michael (Hastings); St. Mary (Dawson); St. Ann (Shubert); Sacred Heart High School (Falls City); St. Joseph (Paul); St. Clara (Peru); Lourdes High School (Nebraska City); Diocesan Director of Scouting; Immaculate Conception (Rulo); St. Mary (Arago); Sacred Heart High School (Falls City); Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary School (Falls City); Diocesan Mission (Barquisimeto, Venezuela); St. Vincent de Paul (Seward); St. Gregory the Great Seminary (Seward); St. John the Apostle (Lincoln); Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House; St. Mary (Wallace); Resurrection (Elsie); St. Joseph (Harvard); St. John the Baptist (Minden); Holy Family (Heartwell)|
|6||Deonise||Richard||1983||Excommunicated in 1994||Lincoln||St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); Blessed Sacrament (Lincoln); St. Patrick (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Michael (Hastings); St. Joseph (Benkelman); St. Joseph (Stratton); St. John (Prague); Saints Cyril & Methodius (Plasi); Neumann High School (Wahoo); St. Wenceslaus (Wilber); St. Joseph (Tobias)|
|7||Hrdlicka||Robert||1977||Removed from public ministry and criminally charged-1993. Laicized in 2005. Current status unknown.||Lincoln||Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln), St. Mary (David City); St. Anthony (Steinauer); Sacred Heart (Burchard); St. Andrew’s School (Tecumseh); Chaplain in the U.S. Navy|
|8||Margand||Paul||1985||Removed from public ministry and criminally charged-1987. Laicized in 2004. Current status unknown.||Lincoln||St. Teresa (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); Holy Spirit (Plattsmouth)|
|9||Redmond||Sean||1990||Removed from public ministry-2009. Laicized-2010. Current status unknown.||Lincoln||St. Mary (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); Cathedral of the Risen Christ (Lincoln); St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); Bishop Neumann High School (Wahoo); St. Joseph (Nebraska City, Paul); St. Bernard (Julian); Lourdes Catholic Schools (Nebraska City); St. Joseph (Benkelman); St. Joseph (Stratton)|
|10||Dunavan||Thomas||1998||Placed on administrative leave in 2019. Disposition pending.||Lincoln||St. Mary (Lincoln); Pius X High School (Lincoln); St. Thomas Aquinas (Lincoln); St. Wenceslaus (Wahoo); Bishop Neumann Jr./Sr. High School; Immaculate Conception (Rulo); St. Mary (Arago); Sacred Heart School (Falls City); St. Andrew (Tecumseh); St. Mary (St. Mary); Saints Peter and Paul (Falls City); Sacred Heart School (Falls City)|
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.