A case filed today in Philadelphia by our office, as well as attorneys Dan Monahan and Marci Hamilton, is brought on behalf of a courageous survivor who was sexually abused as a child. The suit names ten defendants, including the Archdiocese and Archdiocesan officials, alleging a conspiracy to endanger children by actively concealing sexually abusive priests, and continuing the priests in ministry despite known credible allegations of child abuse. The suit also alleges that the Archdiocese and its officials overtly lied to parishioners, and created a sham sexual abuse victims’ assistance program within the Archdiocese. Plaintiff was abused by two different priests, one a priest in the Archdiocese and the other a priest in the Augustinian Order, and the suit brings causes of action for childhood sexual abuse, conspiracy, negligence, negligent supervision, and fraudulent concealment.
This lawsuit is filed on the heels of a damning, exhaustive Philadelphia Grand Jury Report issued last week that exposed the Archdiocese in failing to disclose the identities of dozens of child molesting priests, continuing 41 known offenders in ministry, and orchestrating a conspiracy to endanger children. The truly shocking report was the culmination of two years of investigation by an impartial grand jury, and it revealed appalling truths regarding the Archdiocese’s concealment and cover up of predator priests. Importantly, as part of its recommendations in its investigative report, the Grand Jury recommends the legislature pass a 2-year window suspending the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse claims for those two years, thereby opening the courts to adults who were sexually abused as children. This would be an incredibly
important step towards child protection and healing for survivors of child abuse. This lawsuit seeks to bring justice to a brave and courageous survivor by naming and calling out the wrongdoers in this situation who put our Plaintiff and countless other children in extreme danger. On a larger scale, we hope, by bringing this lawsuit, to further expose and bring to light the harmful, dangerous behavior of the Archdiocese and its officials, who continue to put children at severe risk of being sexually abused by priests who are already
known to the Archdiocese to pose a real risk to children. We commend this survivor for finding his voice and speaking out, to demand accountability by the Archdiocese and its officials, to demand a change in the harmful practices and policies of the Archdiocese in exposing children to known offenders, and to demand justice for survivors of childhood sexual abuse by priests employed by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We are proud to stand by this survivor’s side and help to prevent any future harm to children.