Virginia Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Virginia Sexual Abuse Assault InformationVirginia is beginning to make significant efforts in order to reform its laws regarding childhood sexual abuse and the time victims have to file and pursue claims. Its efforts to change legislation have helped survivors of sexual abuse get justice against their abusers in the courts, but it needs to do more. These laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Virginia to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic church.

Below you will find Virginia lawsuits news & updates, as well as additional information on Virginia’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Virginia sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Virginia ‘credibly’ accused priests released by both Dioceses.

Virginia Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault

In 2020, Virginia passed legislation extending its criminal statute of limitations (SOLs) for misdemeanor child sex abuse crimes. However, its efforts to extend, or even eliminate, the civil SOL for child sex abuse have not been successful. Virginia needs to do more to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse get access to civil justice.

Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Virginia

Virginia has no criminal SOL for felonies related to child sex abuse. In 2016, the SOL for misdemeanor child sex crimes was increased to age 19 for survivors. On April 10, 2020, the Governor signed a new bill into law that extends the statute of limitations for misdemeanor child sex crimes to 5 years after the age of majority, which is 18 years old. This new legislation allows survivors the opportunity to press criminal charges until the age of 23. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on their criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Virginia 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 a criminal SOL eliminated for some/all felonies only.

Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Virginia

Beginning in 2002, Virginia’s civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse was only age 20. However, in 2011, the civil SOL was extended to age 38 for claims against persons, but not institutions. The state also has a 20-year discovery rule, but that also only applies to persons and not institutions as well.

Several bills to extend the civil SOL laws have failed to become law, and with the conditions placed on the current civil SOL, it appears Virginia is not inclined to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on their civil statute of limitations laws, gave Virginia a Civil SOL Age Cap letter grade of D, on the traditional A-F scale, where A is the best. A letter grade of D is defined as a civil SOL age cap between 35 and 49 years old for survivors.

If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Virginia, contact us now. Due to Virginia’s discovery rule, 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.

Virginia Sexual Abuse Settlements

There are very few public settlements or jury awards between the Dioceses within the state of Virginia and childhood sexual abuse survivors. In fact, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington reported that over its 44-year history, the Diocese has paid out only $110,000 from insurance funds in settlements to survivors. That said, if and when those are made public, they will be added to our site. Please check back.

Virginia Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children

In a February 2019 letter to his parishioners, the Bishop of Arlington, Michael F. Burbidge, released the names of all clergy who have been deemed ‘credibly accused’. The list is being published after a full review of all clergy files by independent examiners, who were former FBI personnel. Those on the list below meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Admitted guilt,
  • Criminal court, civil court or ecclesiastical process determined the accuser was guilty,
  • The Arlington or Richmond Diocesan Review Board found the allegation to be credible.

Diocese of Richmond Credibly Accused Priest List

wdt_IDLast NameFirst NameClergy StatusLocation(s) of Alleged AbuseOther Diocese/ Religious Associations
1BeardsleyFrederick JamesSuspended/DeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
2BlankenshipJohn PaulConvicted/LaicizedDiocese of RichmondN/A
3BostwickJohn RaymondRemovedDiocese of RichmondN/A
4ButlerJohn RobertLaicizedDiocese of RichmondN/A
5CassidyPatrick J.DeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
6GoffRichard BernardLaicizedDiocese of RichmondN/A
7GoodmanJulian B.RemovedDiocese of RichmondN/A
8HeschJohn BeamanDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
9HigginsPhilip J.Removed/DeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
10LeonardJohn E.Convicted/Removed/DeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
11LeveilleRoland EdmundDispensed/DeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
12MajewskiJoseph B.SuspendedDiocese of RichmondN/A
13McConnellJames HenryDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
14MurphyDennis PaulSuspendedDiocese of RichmondN/A
15PhamJoseph Thang XuanSuspendedDiocese of RichmondN/A
16RizerJames LeeDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
17RodriquezConvictedDiocese of RichmondN/A
18RuleSteven R.SuspendedDiocese of RichmondN/A
19ShraderDwight EdwardLaicized/DeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
20TeslovicEugene JohnRemovedDiocese of RichmondN/A
21FindlayHarris MarkhamDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
22KamerdzePaul JudeDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
23KrafcikAndrew William PaulLaicizedDiocese of RichmondN/A
24MunleyJohn JosephDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
25NuddRobert EugeneDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
26ReaJohnDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
27ReineckeWilliam ThomasDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
28RyderAustin LewisDeceasedDiocese of RichmondN/A
29BourbonFrancis C.DeceasedDiocese of RichmondJesuit
30BradyMartin D.DeceasedDiocese of RichmondFranciscan
31BurkhardtGordianDeceasedDiocese of RichmondBenedictine
32DoyleTerenceDeceasedDiocese of RichmondMissionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity
33DozierCarroll T.DeceasedDiocese of RichmondDiocese of Memphis
34EarleyRichard R.DeceasedDiocese of RichmondJosephite
35GeorgeFrederickRemovedDiocese of RichmondBenedictine
36GeorgeGeorgeConvictedDiocese of RichmondMaronite
37HolmesAdelbert (Del)DeceasedDiocese of RichmondGlenmary Home Missioners
38ManningAedanDeceasedDiocese of RichmondMissionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity
39MelodyRoland (Owen John)ConvictedDiocese of RichmondTrinitarian
40PhilbenFrancis M.DeceasedDiocese of RichmondHoly Ghost
41RyanPaul DavidConvicted/RemovedDiocese of RichmondBallarat, Australia
42SmallsOliver JosephUnknownDiocese of RichmondBelize
43SykesThomas D.Laicized/DeceasedDiocese of RichmondFrancisican
44BanaszekStanley F.Suspended/DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseMaryknoll
45BurtonCharles JeffriesRemoved/DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseJesuit
46CanuAnthony MichaelLaicized/DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseFranciscan
47DyerBernardine GeorgeDismissed/DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseDominican Friar
48FedorJamesLaicizedOutside Richmond DioceseScranton
49GormleyJames J.DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseJesuit
50MateoLeonardoSuspended/DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseTagbilaran, Philippines
51NguyenVincent The QuangUnknownOutside Richmond DioceseSaigon, Vietnam
52LudwigAugustineAbandoned Ministry/DeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseBenedictine
53ScalesDonaldDeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseBenedictine
54SmithEdDeceasedOutside Richmond DioceseGlenmary Home Missioners

In addition, the Arlington Diocese has listed the following priests as having been credibly accused outside the Arlington Diocese, but served in the Diocese of Arlington at some point in time.

  • Fernando Cristancho
  • A.J. Cote, OP
  • Patrick Cassidy
  • Kevin Downey
  • Daniel Drinan
  • Richard Grant
  • Harold Hermley
  • Robert Hermley
  • Dennis Killion
  • Reginald Richard LaFleur
  • Ronald Luka
  • Anthony McGinley
  • James McLucas
  • John Nestor
  • James W. O’Neill
  • Jerome F. Weber

Similarly, a February 2019 letter from Reverend Barry C. Knestout, the Bishop of Richmond, released the names of credibly accused clergy who once served within the Richmond Diocese. The list below was last updated on October 25th of 2019.

Diocese of Arlington Credibly Accused Priest List

wdt_IDLast NameFirst NameYear of Ordination/ IncardinationClergy Status
1BrooksRobert C.Ordained 1961 in Richmond diocese, joined Arlington in 1974Removed from public ministry in 2004; retired
2BucknerChristopher M.1980Accused and removed from public ministry in 2007; Diocesan Review Board found accusation credible; retired in 2018
3ClarkCurtis L.1984Laicized (loss of the clerical state) in 2004
4ErbacherWilliam J.1987Removed from public ministry in 2001
5KrafcikAndrew W.Ordained 1959 in Richmond diocese, joined Arlington in 1984Removed from public ministry in 2002; dismissed from clerical state in 2004
6MunleyJohn J.Ordained 1954 in Richmond diocese, joined Arlington in 1975Died in 1995
7NhiTran DinhOrdained 1971, joined Arlington in 1980Accused and removed from public ministry in 2006; Diocesan Review Board found accusation credible
8ReineckeWilliam T.Ordained 1965 in Richmond diocese, joined Arlington in 1974Died in 1992
9RoszelStephen A.1977Removed from public ministry in 2003
10AsaloneScott A.1983Removed from public ministry in 1993; dismissed from religious order in 2007
11BairdRichard P.1940Died in 1996; posthumously accused; accusation found credible by Missionaries of the Precious Blood
12FindlayHarris M.Ordained in 1941; joined Arlington in 1974Died in 1980
13KamerdzePaul J.Ordained in 1970; joined Arlington in 1974Died in 1984
14NuddRobert L.Ordained in 1949; joined Arlington in 1974Died in 1978
15ReaJohn W.Ordained in 1945; joined Arlington in 1974Died in 2002
16RyderAustin L.Ordained in 1948; joined Arlington in 1974Died in 1981

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.

Richmond Catholic Diocese Establish Victims Compensation Fund for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors

On February 17, 2020, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond announced its creation of an Independent Reconciliation Program aimed at compensating survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse without having to file a claim or go to court.

The Bishop, Reverend Barry C. Knestout, said that funds to pay for the program will come from self-insurance, investments and loans. The dioceses hired a Richmond-based settlement administration law firm to evaluate claims and determine settlement amounts. Those settlement amounts will be based on the victim’s age at the time of abuse, the nature of the abuse, the number of instances of abuse, the effect of the abuse on the victim, among other factors. The Diocese will not have any ability to deny or change any settlement or the amounts.

Victim’s advocate groups have come forward arguing that the window for this program is far too short, and that most victims need more time since it is so hard to come forward. In addition, they point out that by agreeing to take a settlement, survivors of clergy sexual abuse will be giving up the right to sue in the future and will not have their day in court. That said, most agree that for some, this could be the most appropriate and best course of action. In fact, those who are currently unable to file a claim due to Virginia’s statute of limitations laws can be compensated through the program.

Note that this program had an extremely short window to file an application. The deadline for submission was April 3, 2020 and is already closed.

That said, just because this compensation fund has closed, it does not mean that there are no other options. For more information about filing a sexual abuse claim against the Catholic Church in Virginia, call our office at 1-800-941-7209. Your call is completely confidential.

Virginia Sexual Abuse Lawsuits: News & Updates

Virginia Attorney General’s Priest Indictment Affects DC Councilman

DC councilman, David Gross, has decided not to run for re-election after being notified that the Attorney General of Virginia filed an indictment against Father Scott Asalone for child sex abuse. Gross is listed as one of Asalone’s victims. Click the headline to read more…