The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court in the commonwealth, upheld a lower court’s ruling which will allow a clergy sexual abuse claim to move forward.
The Diocese of Springfield recently released an updated list of church officials and employees who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Bishop William Byrne said the new list is part of his commitment to “transparency and healing.” There are 61 names on the list, 21 more than the previous version.
Several Bills have been filed by Massachusetts Senate and House leaders to open up avenues to civil justice for survivors of child sexual abuse. A number of these Bills propose removing the civil statute of limitations for survivors of child sexual abuse and opening up a permanent revival window for time-barred claims.
A $1.4 million dollar settlement was reached with the Augustine Order involving sexual abuse allegations against deceased Rev. John J. Gallagher. The settlement compensates 11 survivors, 10 females and 1 male whom Gallagher abused between 1974 and 1978 during his time at St. Mary’s School in Lawrence, MA.
In June 2020, retired Judge Peter Velis, alongside the Archbishop of the Springfield Diocese, Mitchell T. Rozanski, released a report outlining the investigation of sexual abuse claims against the late Bishop Christopher Weldon, a well-known Springfield Diocese bishop. The report deemed the allegations against Weldon to be ‘credible’. Weldon served the Diocese of Springfield from 1950-1977 as bishop and passed away in 1982.
A lawsuit, filed by a ‘John Doe’ in order to protect the victim’s identity, was filed in Bernalillo County, New Mexico against two Alamogordo parishes, as well as dioceses within the states of New Mexico and Massachusetts. The lawsuit alleges the victim was sexually abused by a former priest, Rev. David Holley, and that the diocese and parishes included in the lawsuit are partly responsible because they allowed a known predator to prey on young children.
Reverend Richard McCormick, who was convicted in 2014 of raping two young boys, passed away at Bridgewater State Treatment Center. He was 79 years old. Due to privacy laws, the cause of death has not been released, but the Department of Corrections for Bridgewater State has confirmed that at least three deaths there have been linked to an outbreak of COVID-19.