South Carolina Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
South Carolina has done a great deal to improve its criminal statute of limitations laws for victims of childhood sexual abuse, but the state has a long way to go to help those victims receive civil justice. While legislation has been proposed to extend the civil statute of limitations, the state needs to do more to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Statute of limitations 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 South Carolina lawsuits news & updates, as well as additional 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 has tried over the years to propose new legislation which would help survivors of childhood sexual abuse get access to civil justice, but proponents of these bills have had little to no success. However, the state does have no criminal SOL, allowing survivors of all ages to file criminal charges against their abusers.
Criminal Statute of Limitations 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 Limitations Laws for South Carolina
South Carolina’s civil statute of limitations laws haven’t changed at all since 2001. Its civil age cap is on the lower end compared to other states around the country. A bill was introduced to the state Legislature which would extend the civil SOL to age 55 against all types of defendants. 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, depending upon 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.
South Carolina Sexual Abuse Lawsuits: News & Updates
The Diocese of Charleston is once again facing new allegations of child molestation involving two different priests. Click the headline to read more…