Tennessee Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Tennessee’s civil statute of limitations (SOL) laws are less victim friendly in providing survivors of childhood sexual abuse an avenue to justice than many other states around the country. While the state did extend its civil SOL laws by 15 years in 2019, in most cases, that still doesn’t give survivors of sexual abuse enough time to feel prepared emotionally to report their abuse. Civil SOL laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Tennessee to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic Church.
Below you will find information on Tennessee’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Tennessee sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Tennessee settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of Tennessee’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by Tennessee’s Dioceses.
Tennessee Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Tennessee has made some progress in the past decade towards helping survivors of sexual abuse get civil justice by extending its civil statute of limitations laws for child sexual abuse. However, the state’s civil age cap is on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to many other states, which means it could be doing more to help survivors. There also doesn’t appear to be any plans in the near future to open any sort of revival window for time-barred claims.
Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Tennessee
In Tennessee, there is no criminal SOL for child sex abuse felonies and misdemeanors, however, admissible and credible evidence corroborating the charges must be submitted when a victim is over the age of 43, was abused between the ages of 13-17, and the abuse was not reported. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on its criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Tennessee a Criminal SOL score of 4, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 4 is defined as an elimination of the criminal SOL for some felonies and misdemeanors.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Tennessee
In Tennessee, the civil SOL for child sex abuse claims is capped at age 33. There is a discovery rule for civil actions in Tennessee which allows victims up to 3-years to file a claim after discovering a connection between their injury and the abuse. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on its civil statute of limitations laws, gave Tennessee 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 the ages of 25-34.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Tennessee, contact us now. Due to Tennessee’s current SOL laws, those sexually abused as a minor may still have a claim against their abuser, depending on 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.
Tennessee Sexual Abuse Settlements
February 2009 – The Diocese of Memphis agreed to pay $1.55 million of a $2 million settlement for claims brought by a man who said Rev. Juan Carlos Duran sexually abused him in the year 2000 when he was 14-years-old at Church of the Ascension in North Memphis. The diocese claimed it acted responsibly in dealing with the abusive priest.
December 2019 – The Diocese of Knoxville reached an out-of-court settlement with a man who claimed he was sexually abused by two priests when he served as an altar boy as a child. The man said he was abused by Rev. Francis Xavier Mankel and Bishop Anthony O’Connell and that the abuse began when he was a fourth grader at Sacred Heart Cathedral School. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the public. Both Mankel and O’Connell have since died.
July 2020 – The Diocese of Nashville agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a claim with a woman who alleged she was sexually abused by Rev. Kevin McGoldrick when she was a student at Aquinas College in 2017. The woman claimed McGoldrick was her spiritual director, and when she met with him at the rectory, he got her drunk and proceeded to assault her. The diocese never opened a formal investigation into the incident.
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 Tennessee 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.
Tennessee Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
Catholic Dioceses in Tennessee 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 Tennessee can be added.
Use the links below to navigate directly to a particular diocese’s clergy list.
- Diocese of Knoxville Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Memphis Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Nashville Credibly Accused Priest List
Diocese of Knoxville Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Casey||William Claude||1969||Currently incarcerated||Associate Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Chattanooga; Pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville; Diocesan Director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Pastor of St. Dominic Church in Kingsport; Dean and Episcopal Vicar of the Kingsport Deanery; Director of Vocations for the Kingsport Deanery; Pastor of St. John Neumann Church in Knoxville|
|2||LaPrad||Stephen||1995||Deceased 2014||parochial vicar of St. Mary Church in Johnson City, parochial administrator and then pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.|
|3||O’Connell||Anthony J.||1963||Deceased 2012||O’Connell served as the first bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville from 1988-1998 and the third bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach from 1998-2002. All accusations took place in the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo.
|4||Cleary||Edward James||1940||Deceased 1997||Administrator Pro Tem at Resurrection Church in Cleveland, Tennessee|
|5||Davis||William Floyd||1956||Deceased 2011||Pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville and Rogersville mission|
|6||Emala||Walter M.||1952||Deceased 2008||Associate Pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville; CYO Director for the East Tennessee Deanery|
|7||Haas||Paul Frederick||1959||Deceased 1979||Known to have served at St. Jude Church and Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga|
|8||Kemper||James A.||1942||Deceased 1993||Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Knoxville; Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga and Chaplain of the Newman Club|
|9||McKeown||Edward Joseph||1970||Currently incarcerated||Administrator of Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman, St. Ann Church in Deer Lodge and St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City; academic duties at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga; Administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in South Pittsburg, in residence at St. Augustine Church in Signal Mountain; Associate Pastor at St. Augustine Church in Signal Mountain; Administrator at St. Bridget Church in Dayton; Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Harriman and its mission; Pastor of St. Thomas Church in Lenoir City and St. Ann Church in Deer Lodge|
|10||McManus||Francis J.||Deceased 2015||A Jesuit priest assigned by his religious order to St. Dominic Church in Kingsport from June 1978 to July 1979.|
Diocese of Memphis Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Cleary||Edward James||1940||Deceased 1997||Immaculate Conception Church in Memphis, St. Paul Church|
|2||Davis||William Floyd||1956||Deceased 2011||St. William Church in Millington, St. Louis Church, Teacher at Catholic High School for Boys, St. John Church Memphis, Blessed Sacrament Church, St. Mary’s Church, Savannah and Our Lady of the Lake, Pickwick
|3||Emala||Walter||1952||Deceased 2008||St. Anne Church in Memphis, West Tennessee Area Scout Chaplain, Immaculate Conception Church in Memphis, St. Ann Church in Bartlett|
|4||Haas||Paul Frederick||1959||Deceased 1979||St. John Church in Memphis, Teacher at Catholic High School for Boys, Sacred Heart Church in Memphis|
|5||Kemper||James A.||1942||Deceased 1993||Holy Rosary Church, St. James Church|
|6||Murphy Jr.||James William||1948||Deceased 2016||Sacred Heart Church, St. Thomas Church, Director ofthe Ladies ofCharity for West Tennessee, Immaculate Conception Church in Union City, St. Anthony Church, St. James Church|
|7||Reilly||Joseph L.||1956||Dismissed from priesthood 1965||Assignment in West Tennessee: St. Michael Church|
|8||Rudisill||James Arthur||1951||Deceased 2008||Sacred Heart Church in Memphis, Youth Director for West Tennessee, Holy Angels Church in Dyersburg|
|9||St. Charles||Paul Wiley||1966||Deceased 2009||St. John Church, Chaplain for Scouting in the Memphis area, Director ofthe Catholic Youth Office in the Memphis area, teacher at Catholic High School, Church ofthe Ascension|
|10||Stredny||Anthony G.||1957||Deceased 2018||Our Lady of Sorrows, Holy Rosary Church, Blessed Sacrament Church|
Diocese of Nashville Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Year of Ordination/ Incardication||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Behm||Al||Joined Glenmary society 1960 (brother)||Left society 1993||He had no parish assignments in Nashville and was employed directly by the Glenmary Home Mission Society at its research center in Nashville|
|2||Casey||William C.||Ordained 1969||Currently incarcerated||Associate Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Chattanooga; Chattanooga Deanery Master of Ceremonies; Pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville; East Tennessee Regional Director of Department of Rural Development; Kingsport Deanery Master of Ceremonies; Member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission; Director of Kingsport Deanery Catholic Youth Office; Director of Kingsport Deanery Diocesan Council of Catholic Women; Diocesan Director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Pastor of St. Dominic Church in Kingsport; Dean and Episcopal Vicar of the Kingsport Deanery; Director of Vocations for the Kingsport Deanery; Pastor of St. John Neumann Church in Knoxville|
|3||Cleary||Edward J.||Ordained 1940||Deceased 1997||Assistant Pastor of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville; Assistant Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Memphis; Assistant Pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Nashville; Editor of the Tennessee Register; Professor at Father Ryan High School in Nashville; Administrator Pro Tem at Resurrection Church in Cleveland, Tennessee; Chaplain, U.S. Army Air Corps; Pastor, St. Paul Church in Whitehaven
|4||Davis||William F.||Ordained 1956||Deceased 2011||Assistant Pastor of Christ the King Church in Nashville; Middle Tennessee Deanery Area Scout Chaplain; Administrator of the Church of the Assumption in Nashville; Director of the Catholic Youth Office of the Diocese of Nashville; Director of the Kentucky-Tennessee Region of the National Council of Catholic Youth; Pastor of the Church of the Assumption; Administrator of St. William Church in Millington; Assistant Pastor of St. Louis Church in Memphis and Teacher at Catholic High School for Boys in Memphis; Pastor of Notre Dame Church in Greeneville and its Rogersville mission; Pastor of St. Patrick Church in McEwen and St. Christopher Church in Dickson|
|5||Dickman||Ronald W.||Ordained 1971||Dismissed from the priesthood 1991||Director of Camp Marymount; Associate Pastor of St. Edward Church and full-time Professor and later Principal at Father Ryan High School; Associate Director of Vocations for the Nashville Deanery; Diocesan Director of Vocations; Associate Pastor of St. Henry Church in Nashville; Associate Pastor of St. Ignatius of Antioch Church; Catholic Charities of Tennessee; St. Mary Villa in Nashville|
|6||Early||Bill||Joined Glenmary society 1958 (brother)||Left society 1993||He had no parish assignments in Nashville and was employed directly by the Glenmary Home Mission Society at its research center in Nashville|
|7||Emala||Walter M.||Ordained 1952||Deceased 2008||Associate Pastor of St. Ann Church in Nashville; Associate Pastor of St. Anne Church in Memphis; West Tennessee Area Scout Chaplain; Associate Pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville; CYO Director for the East Tennessee Deanery; Pastor of St. Patrick Church in McEwen; Associate Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Memphis; Associate Pastor of St. Ann Church in Bartlett. He is named on lists published by the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore|
|8||Haas||Paul F.||Ordained 1959||Deceased 1979||Assistant Pastor of the Cathedral of the Incarnation; Middle Tennessee Deanery Area Scout Chaplain; Assistant Pastor of St. Ann Church in Nashville and Teacher at Father Ryan High School; Assistant Pastor of St. John Church in Memphis and Teacher at Memphis Catholic High School for Boys; Assistant Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Memphis. In addition to assignments in diocesan records, he is also known to have served at St. Jude Church and Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga and in the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky|
|9||Gansmann||Kenneth||Ordained Franciscan society 1935||Deceased 1974||St. Vincent de Paul Church in Nashville|
|10||Iazzetta||Frank||Ordained 1967||Deceased 2007||Assistant Pastor of St. Edward Church in Nashville; Assistant Spiritual Director of the Nashville Cursillo Group; Administrator of St. Paul Church in Tullahoma|
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.