Oklahoma Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Oklahoma’s civil statute of limitations (SOL) laws are somewhat victim friendly in providing survivors of childhood sexual abuse an avenue to justice. However, change for the better could be on the horizon, as a bill was introduced to the Legislature, and passed in the House, which would eliminate the civil SOL for child sex abuse against perpetrators and other individuals as well as open a 5-year revival window for all expired claims. These laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Oklahoma to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic Church.
Below you will find information on Oklahoma’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Oklahoma sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Oklahoma settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of Oklahoma’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by Oklahoma’s Dioceses.
Oklahoma Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Oklahoma has made some progress in the past decade towards helping survivors of sexual abuse get civil justice by extending its civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes against perpetrators. However, there are potentially even more improvements on the horizon as a bill was introduced to the Legislature, and passed in the House, which would eliminate the civil SOL for child sex abuse or exploitation against perpetrators and other individuals and extend the SOL against institutions to the later of age 48 or 5 years from discovery of the abuse. If passed into law, the bill would also open a 5-year revival window for all expired claims.
Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Oklahoma
In 2017, Oklahoma extended the criminal SOL to age 45 for child sex abuse crimes of rape, forcible sodomy, lewd or indecent proposals, pornography crimes, and child abuse. The criminal SOL for any other felonies or misdemeanors is 3 years after the offense. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on their criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Oklahoma a Criminal SOL score of 2, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 2 is defined as a criminal SOL which expires between the ages of 40 to 50 or years after reporting.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, the civil SOL for child sex abuse claims against perpetrators is capped at age 45. Claims against all other defendants have a civil SOL capped at age 20. There is no discovery rule for civil actions in Oklahoma. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on their civil statute of limitation laws, gave Oklahoma a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 3, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 3 is defined as a civil SOL age cap between the ages of 35-49. Currently, Oklahoma does not have a revival law, but a bill was introduced to the Legislature, and passed in the House, which would eliminate the civil SOL for child sex abuse or exploitation against perpetrators and other individuals and extend the SOL against institutions to the later of age 48 or 5 years from discovery of the abuse. The bill would also open a 5-year revival window for all expired claims.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Oklahoma, contact us now. Due to Oklahoma’s pending legislation, those sexually abused as a minor may 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.
Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a clergy sexual abuse claim.
Oklahoma Sexual Abuse Settlements
May 2002 – The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City agreed to pay $5 million to settle claims by a man who said Rev. James Rapp sexually abused him while both were at the church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Duncan in the early to mid-1990s. Rapp pleaded no contest to two counts of lewd molestation and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
August 2002 – The Diocese of Tulsa approved nearly $800,000 in insurance settlements to resolve two lawsuits which accused Catholic deacon Morris Dale Vanderford of sexually abusing two boys at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Claremore. Vanderford was sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to 13 counts of sexual abuse of the boys.
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 Oklahoma 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.
Oklahoma Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
Catholic Dioceses in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma can be added.
Use the links below to navigate directly to a particular diocese’s clergy list.
- Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Tulsa Credibly Accused Priest List
Archdiocese of Oklahoma City Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Behnke||Thomas||The Discalced Carmelites||1949||Deceased 2008||Little Flower (OKC); Holy Rosary (Tulsa)|
|2||Cowden||David||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1982||Deceased 2015||St. Anthony (Okeene); Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Sterling); Christ the King (OKC); The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual; Help (OKC); St. Patrick (OKC); St. Mary (Ponca City)|
|3||Cude||Steven||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1969||Faculties removed 1998||St. Matthew (Elk City); St. Anthony (Okeene); St. Joseph Old Cathedral (OKC); St. Paul the Apostle (Del City); St. John (Edmond); Corpus Christi (OKC); Christ the King (Tulsa)|
|4||Faue||Matthias||Order of Saint Benedict||1951||Deceased 1988||St. Wenceslaus (Prague); St. Francis (Sulphur); St. Benedict (Shawnee)|
|5||Imming||David||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1965||Laicized 2011||Sacred Heart (Alva); St. Cornelius (Cherokee); St. Gregory (Enid); The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual; Help (OKC); St. Joseph (Norman); St. Joseph Old Cathedral (OKC); Sacred Heart (Navina); Sacred Heart (OKC)|
|6||Leven||Marvin F.||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1959||Faculties removed 2020||Prince of Peace (Altus); St. Francis Xavier (Enid); St. John the Baptist (Edmond); Holy Trinity (Okarche); Holy Family (Lawton); Sts. Peter and Paul (Tulsa); St. Eugene (OKC); Holy Family Cathedral (Tulsa); Mercy Health Center|
|7||Mantica||Albert||Diocese of Albany||1959||Deceased 1997||Served in Oklahoma: 1965-1967; St. Patrick (OKC); Chaplain at Youth Village (OKC)|
|8||Mickus||James||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1972||Suspended from Ministry 2018||Our Lady of Sorrows (Chandler); St. Louis (Stroud); St. Francis Xavier (Enid); St. Joseph (Bison); St. Philip Neri (Midwest City); St. Mary (Ponca City); Sacred Heart (Mangum); St. Joseph (Norman); Christ the King (OKC); St. Patrick (OKC)|
|9||Perone||Rocco||Paulist Fathers||1949||Deceased 1992||Conducted parish mission in Oklahoma but never assigned to Oklahoma|
|10||Pasala,||Papa-Rao||Diocese of Nellore, India||Faculties Removed 2019||St. Monica, Edmond|
|11||Prather||Edd||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1971||Deceased 1996||Without assignment in the Archdiocese after: May 1988; Our Lady of Fatima (Nicoma Park); Sacred Heart (Alva); St. Francis of Assis (OKC); St. Joseph (Buffalo); St. Charles Borromeo (OKC); St. Patrick (OKC)|
|12||Rapp||James||Oblates of St. Francis de Sales||1967||Faculties Revoked 1999||Assumption (Duncan)|
|13||Zoeller||Ben||Diocese of Oklahoma City||1965||Laicized 2011||St. John Nepomuk (Yukon); St. Patrick (OKC); St. Eugene (Weatherford); St. Andrew (Moore); The Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual; Help (OKC); St. Rose of Lima (Watonga); St. Joseph (Norman); St. Mary (Tulsa)|
Diocese of Tulsa Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status|
|1||Bartnik||Harry||Diocese of Tulsa||1956||Deceased 2000|
|2||Byrne||Edmund||Diocese of Tulsa||1938||Deceased 1991|
|3||Courtright||Lawrence||Diocese of Tulsa||1961||Removed from Active Ministry 2002|
|4||Daley||Timothy||Diocese of Tulsa||1987||Deceased 2004|
|5||Lewis||Kenneth||Diocese of Tulsa||1991||Dismissed from the Clerical State 2007|
|6||McGouldrick||Vincent||Diocese of Tulsa||1950||Deceased 1994|
|7||Starr||Sid||Diocese of Tulsa (deacon)||1993||Removed from Active Ministry 2009|
|8||Vanderford||Morris D.||Diocese of Tulsa (deacon)||1977||Deceased 1998|
|9||Jangam||John||Outside Diocese of Tulsa||1980||Returned to India - Unknown|
|10||Greenwell||James||Third Order Franciscans||1955||Deceased 2012|
|11||Poandl||Robert||Glenmary Home Missioner||1968||Deceased 2019|
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.