Utah Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Utah’s civil statute of limitations (SOL) laws appear to be very victim friendly in providing survivors of childhood sexual abuse an avenue to justice. However, the civil SOL that applies to entities that may have enabled or covered up the sexual abuse, like the Catholic Church, is extremely short, making it much less victim friendly than other states around the country. SOL laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Utah to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic Church.
Below you will find information on Utah’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Utah sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Utah settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of Utah’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by Utah’s Dioceses.
Utah Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Based on the language of the statute, Utah appears to have made great progress towards helping survivors of sexual abuse get civil justice. However, the state’s civil SOL has only been eliminated against individuals who committed the sexual abuse. The civil SOL for an entity who may have enabled the abuse is capped at age 22, which is on the low end of the spectrum when compared to many other states, and means Utah could be doing much more to help survivors.
Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Utah
In Utah, there is no criminal SOL for most child sex abuse felonies. The SOL for misdemeanors is 2 years after the offense. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on its criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Utah a Criminal SOL letter grade of C, on the traditional A-F scale, where A is the best. A letter grade of C is defined as an elimination of the criminal SOL for some/all felonies only.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Utah
In Utah, there is no civil SOL for claims against perpetrators of child sex abuse. Claims for sexual assault of a child against other types of defendants are capped at age 22. There is a 4-year discovery rule which begins when “the plaintiff learns of, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have learned of, the facts that give rise to the cause of action.” Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on its civil statute of limitations laws, gave Utah a Civil SOL Age Cap letter grade of B, on the traditional A-F scale, where A is the best. A letter grade of B is defined as no civil SOL age cap for some claims.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Utah, contact us now. Due to Utah’s current laws, including its discovery rule, 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.
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Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a clergy sexual abuse claim.
Utah Sexual Abuse Settlements
2004 – In 2004, Bishop George H. Niederauer released a statement saying from 1950-2002 there were 18 credible allegations of sexual abuse against 13 priests in the diocese. Most of the allegations stemmed from abuse that occurred between 1963 and 1984. Niederauer made it a point to say that no settlements had been made in regards to allegations of clergy sexual abuse. The one lawsuit filed against the diocese had been dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed on the claim.
*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 Utah 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.
Utah Catholic Diocese Releases Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
On September 20, 2019, the Diocese of Salt Lake City released the names of priests and clergy members who they deemed to be ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a child.
The list below will be updated as litigation or investigations are concluded so that new names of credibly accused priests in Utah can be added.
Diocese of Salt Lake City Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Arbelaez-Olarte||Mario||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Laicized||St. Therese, Midvale 1997-2000; Brigham City 2000-2001; St. Joseph Parish; Ogden 11/2001- 5/2003|
|2||Baraniewicz||Joseph M.||Oblates of St. Francis de Sales||Deceased||Judge Memorial High School, SLC 1974-1986; Notre Dame, Price 1986-1987; St. James the Greater, Vernal 1987-1990|
|3||Bressler||William Cody||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Deceased||Visiting priest, helped out at Sacred Heart Parish, SLC 1955-1956|
|4||Cristancho||Fernando||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Faculties removed||St. Henry, Brigham City, 2/10/92-5/2/94|
|5||Davich||George||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Retired w/o faculties||St. George, 1968-1970; Holy Family Parish, Ogden 1979-1982; Vicar General 1982-86; St. Vincent de Paul, SLC 1986- 2002|
|6||Devlin||Raymond||Society of Jesus||Deceased||St. Joseph High School, St. Mary's, Ogden 1986-1990|
|7||Franco||Paul||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Left priesthood||Notre Dame, Price 1973-1975; Our Lady of Lourdes, SLC 1975-1976, St. Ambrose, SLC, 1979-1980; St. Francis, Kearns, 1981-1982; Saints Peter and Paul, Parish, West Valley City 1982-1986|
|8||Gaeta||David R.||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Retired w/o faculties||St. Joseph Parish, Ogden 1980-1982; St. Ambrose, SLC 1982 U.S. Air Force 1985- 2017; St. Florence, Huntsville 2017-2018; St. Peter, American Fork 2018|
|9||Gomez||Francisco||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Retired 2002, no faculties||St. Rose of Lima, Layton 1990-1994; St. Henry, Brigham City 1994-1995; St. Therese, Midvale 1995-1997; St. Francis Xavier, Kearns 1997-2002|
|10||Greenwell||James M.||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Left priesthood 1986||Notre Dame, Price 1975-1978; St. Joseph Parish, Ogden 1979-1980; St. George Parish, St. George 1980-1984|
|11||Konat||Edward J.||Society of Jesus||Faculties removed||St. Ambrose, SLC 1983-1984; St. Helen, Roosevelt 1984 (3 mos); St. Francis Xavier, Kearns 1985 (2 mos); Our Lady of Lourdes, Magna 1985 (3 mos)|
|12||LaPenta||Charles||Oblates of St. Francis de Sales||Deceased||Judge Memorial High School, SLC 1970-1985; St. Anthony, Helper 1985-1991; Dugway Proving Ground Chaplain 1991-1996|
|13||Lopez||Leonidas||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Faculties removed||Good Shepherd, East Carbon 1987-1990; returned to Columbia 1990-1992; Sacred Heart, SLC, 1992-1997; St. George, St. George, 1997-1999|
|14||Mejia||Heriberto Castrellion||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Faculties removed||St. Joseph, Ogden, 3/22/90-8/1/91; San Andres, Payson, 8/1/91-10/28/92|
|15||O'Neill||Thomas||Oblates of St. Francis de Sales||Deceased||Judge Memorial High School, SLC 1957-1970|
|16||Pulgarin||Oscar Vargas||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Faculties removed||Sacred Heart Seminary 2001; St. Joseph, Ogden: 2004-2005|
|17||Rapp||James||Oblates of St. Francis de Sales||Laicized||Judge Memorial High School, SLC 1968-1973|
|18||Rodriguez||Reyes||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Faculties removed||St. Francis Xavier, Kearns, 1966-1968; Our Lady of Lourdes, SLC 1968-1969; Richfield 1969-1976; St. Ann, SLC 1970-1971; Notre Dame, Price 1971- 1973; Eureka, 1972-1973; St. Pius X, Moab 1972-1974; Good Shepherd, East Carbon 1974-1979; Our Lady of Guadalupe, SLC 1981-1985; St. Marguerite, Tooele 1985-1987|
|19||Sanchez||Julio||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Faculties removed||St. Francis Xavier, Kearns 1992-1994; St. Marguerite, Tooele 1994-1995; St. Joseph, Ogden 1995-1997; St. Pius X, Moab 7/4/97 - 5/26/98|
|20||Shrope||Glen M.||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Deceased||Immaculate Conception, Copperton 1965-1968 and 1970-1972; St. Helen, Roosevelt 1968-1970; St. Therese, Midvale 1972-1982|
|21||Spellen||Lawrence||Diocese of Salt Lake City||Deceased||Judge Memorial High School, SLC 1953-1956; Our Lady of Lourdes, Magna 1958-1969; St. Olaf, Bountiful 1969-70; St. Pius X, Moab 1970-1971; Personal Leave 1971-1972; Eureka 1973-1974; Honolulu 1975-1978; Vernal 1979-1980; California 1980-1982; St. Patrick, SLC 1956-1958 and 1982-1987|
|22||Ariza||Leonardo E.||Seminarian||Terminated from Seminary 2002||No Assignments|
|23||McMenamin||Neil||Oblates of St. Francis de Sales||Deceased||Housekeeper for Oblates at Judge Memorial|
Click to view our larger database of accused priest. Here you can search by accused clergy first and last name, Parish/Diocese, city and state, and even by the years of their assignments.