South Carolina Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
South Carolina is one of the few states working to enact a revival window in 2020, allowing survivors of sexual abuse, whose claims were previously expired, the legal right to file those claims against their abusers. This new law would help survivors of sexual abuse get justice against their abuser, while also allowing for compensation. Combined with existing legislation, these laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in South Carolina to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic church.
Below you will find information on South Carolina’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling a South Carolina sexual assault case has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of South Carolina’s settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of South Carolina’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by the dioceses.
South Carolina Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
South Carolina is one of many states to introduce statute of limitation (SOL) reform legislation in 2019 and 2020. A highlight of their reform is to open a revival window for expired claims against perpetrators to help sexual abuse survivors. The state also has no criminal SOL allowing survivors of all ages to file charges against their abusers.
Criminal Statute of Limitation Laws for South Carolina
In 2002, South Carolina eliminated the SOL for all felony and misdemeanor child sexual abuse offenses. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on their criminal statute of limitation laws, gave South Carolina a Criminal SOL score of 5, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 5 is defined as a criminal SOL eliminated for all felonies and misdemeanors. South Carolina is one of only 7 states to be given a perfect Criminal SOL score.
Civil Statute of Limitation Laws for South Carolina
In 2020, South Carolina has two important bills that are working through legislation for sexual abuse survivors. The first bill extends the civil SOL age of survivors to 35 or 5 years from discovery of the abuse. The second bill, an extension of the first bill, extends the civil SOL age of survivors even further to 55 or 5 years from discovery and opens a 1-year revival window for expired civil SOL claims against perpetrators, private organizations, and government. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on their civil statute of limitation laws, gave South Carolina 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.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in South Carolina, contact us now. 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 sexual abuse claim.
South Carolina Sexual Abuse Settlements
It is estimated that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, SC has paid out nearly $12,000,000 to survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of its clergy and other church personnel. Below outlines the timeline of those settlements.
1995 – The McDonald brothers, four men molested in 1979 by Fr. Justin Goodwin, who has since been named as a credibly accused priest by the Diocese of Charleston, received $150,000 in total. The brothers say the abuse devastated their lives.
August 2007 – The Catholic Diocese of Charleston settled out of court with 11 sexual abuse victims for a total of nearly $1.4 million. This settlement flowed from a $12 million class action settlement fund approved by a Dorchester County, South Carolina circuit judge in the prior month. The judge capped the amount at $12 million so the Diocese would avoid bankruptcy. Over the next year, the Diocese would pay out over $10 million as part of the class action settlement to sexual abuse survivors.
*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 South Carolina 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.
South Carolina Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
In March 2019, the independent Sexual Abuse Advisory Board of the Diocese of Charleston recommended that the Diocese of Charleston release the following list of priests, deemed to have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. This list includes the names of those priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors in the Diocese dating back to 1950. The list according to their website:
Diocese of Charleston Priest Accused List
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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.