How Long do I have to File a Clergy Abuse Lawsuit in California?

How long you have to file a clergy abuse lawsuit in California is a common question. For some California clergy abuse survivors, it may take years, even decades to recall the abuse since traumatic events suffered as a child are often suppressed. Even those who haven’t repressed those memories often still need many years to process the pain and receive treatment or counseling before they are ready to share their stories.

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Delay in California Clergy Abuse Trial Due to Coronavirus

In a July ruling, a California judge has delayed a court case involving the sexual abuse of two undisclosed plaintiffs, John R.R. Doe and John R.F. Doe. The cases will not proceed as scheduled in October, but instead will be rescheduled for March 2021. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Sotelo cites the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. Disruption in the court system isn’t isolated to California. Recently the Diocese of Albany was flooded with sexual abuse lawsuits after a nearly three-month delay in courts due to the Coronavirus. The California delay nevertheless pushes back potential justice for what started several years ago.

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Priest Abuse Case Against Archdiocese of Los Angeles Settled for $1.9 million

Catholic priest Lawrence Lovell, or ‘Father Larry”, was at the center of a priest sex abuse case filed against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Claretian Missionaries which resulted in a $1.9 million dollar settlement. The victim, Richard Barrios, said the sexual abuse occurred from 1982-1984 when he was an altar boy at San Gabriel Mission Church.

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Los Angeles Archdiocese Being Sued for Sexual Abuse by Adult Man

A new law passed in the state of California provides victims with a window to file claims of childhood sexual abuse that were previously time barred. One man is taking advantage of that law and in February of 2020, filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The victim alleges that Father Michael Baker sexually abused him repeatedly from age 6 to 10 years old and that the Cardinal at the time, Roger Mahoney, covered it up. The plaintiff’s attorney, John Manly, stated that the Cardinal tried to hide what was going on with Father Baker by transferring him to other parishes rather than reporting the criminal behavior to the police.

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Brentwood California Police Department Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit for $1 Million

In May 2019, a sexual assault lawsuit was filed against a former Brentwood police officer. The claim alleged that the victim was raped by her superior officer in September 2017 at a Reno hotel during a conference they were attending for police training. In November 2017 the woman filed an internal claim with the Brentwood police department. However, at the time, she did not pursue criminal charges citing a ‘fear it would be too much to handle emotionally’. When the Brentwood police chief and captain were made aware, they opened a “supervisory inquiry” instead of an internal affairs investigation.

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California Catholic Church Settlement Fund Created

Six California Catholic Diocese including: Diocese of Fresno, Diocese of Orange, Diocese of Sacramento, Diocese of San Bernardino, Diocese of San Diego, and Los Angeles Archdiocese have recently unveiled a new sexual abuse settlement program for victims of childhood priest molestation in the Catholic Church. Details of the California Catholic Church Settlement fund allow for victims to file a claim without having to directly sue the Catholic Church in court but the deadline is and provide a deadline of January 31, 2020. Typically to file a lawsuit victims would be governed by California’s Statute of limitation laws.

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