Clergy Sex Abuse Attorneys in New York City

OVER $165 MILLION RECOVERED FOR OUR CLIENTS

Clergy sex abuse in New York City has become an epidemic. It is such an issue that new laws had to be passed to help give victims more time to come forward and tell their stories. As of February 19, 2019, New York’s Child Victims Act changes this, removing the statute of limitations through August 14, 2020, and then extending it until the victim reaches age 55. This law was enacted to help all child victims of sex abuse, however, it is especially helpful to victims of the clergy, priest, and church sexual abuse. For the past 25 years, the attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped all victims of clergy sex abuse get the justice they so rightly deserve.

What is Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City?

Clergy sex abuse in New York City is a form of child sexual abuse that is specific to clergy, priests, church elders, rabbis, and any other religious leaders. As child sexual predators, these clergy members take advantage of their role as trusted advisors to children and their families, resulting in devasting clergy sexual abuse that leave scars the children may never get over. Clergy can be defined as:

  • Priests
  • Deacons
  • Bishops
  • Ministers
  • Pastors
  • Rabbis
  • Imam
  • Nuns
  • Spiritual leader
  • Spiritual advisor
Who Are the Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City?

Clergy sexual abuse in New York City targets child victims who trust their clergy and attend religious events and services regularly. The victims may be male or female and are likely minors under the age of 18. Many times, they are children that are very active in the religious community. These children are indoctrinated in their faith and are taught to trust their religious leaders without a doubt. They see being at this level in the church or religious community as an honor and a calling from God. These children are vulnerable and easy targets from the clergy.

What Rights Do Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Have in New York City?

Adults and children that were clergy sex abuse victims are protected in New York City by some of the most comprehensive laws in the United States. The Child Victims Act, effective as of August 14, 2019, allows clergy sexual abuse victims in New York City to file a lawsuit in civil court against the abuse until they reach age 55. Between August 14, 2019, and August 14, 2020, any victim of clergy sex abuse in New York City can bring a lawsuit against the abuser if they were turned away in the past due to time limits, no matter how old the victim is.

As for criminal proceedings, the Child Victim Act allows the 5-year statute of limitations to press charges to begin at age 23, giving the victim until age 28 to press charges against the abuser.

Who Are the Accomplices that Contribute to the Culture of Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City?

With any issue relating to children, it takes a village. Clergy sexual abuse in New York City is no different. In order for the clergy to continue to get away with sexually assaulting children in the community, there must be numerous people willing to turn a blind eye and allow things to stay status quo. Some accomplish to clergy sexual abuse can be, but are not limited to:
• Religious leaders
• Parents
• Religious schoolteachers
• Employees of the religious institution
• Any person in a position to report the abuse that did not follow their duty

What Type of Justice in Criminal Court is Typically available to Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City?

Any clergy member found guilty in New York City criminal court of clergy sex abuse may be subject to the following punishments:

  • First degree child sexual assault is a Class D felony. The sentence is 2-7 years in prison.
  • 2nd-degree child sexual assault is a Class A misdemeanor. The sentence is up to a year in prison and fines of $1,000.
  • 3rd degree child sexual assault is a class B misdemeanor. The sentence is up to 3 months in jail and a fine of $500.
  • First degree aggravated assault is a class B felony. The sentence is 5 to 25 years in prison.
What Remedies Are Available in Civil Court for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City?

As a victim of clergy sex abuse in New York City, you are entitled to seek justice. The courts offer several remedies to help you try to find a new normal, even years after the abuse occurred. Some of the remedies available to clergy sexual abuse victims include, but at not limited to:

• Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
• Payment of continued therapy and counseling
• Loss of income
• Attorney’s fees
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress
• Punitive damages

What Resources Are Available for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse in New York City?
  • Lauren’s Kids. Lauren’s kids offer guidance and education to begin the healing process.
  • RAINN. This national organization provides a hotline to help victims of clergy sex abuse as well as other resources to help people more on and start a new life.
  • Darkness to Light. Darkness to Light helps victims find therapists, and other helpful resources needed to move forward from the clergy sexual abuse.
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. This is meant to help children overcome the trauma of the abuse through the use of evaluation and therapies.
  • Stop It Now. This organization helps the adult survivors of clergy sexual abuse find the organizations to help the healing process.
  • New York Office of Victims Services. The office helps the victims of clergy sexual abuse find advocates, crime scene investigators, and other resources to help the victim report the incident and press charges.

Contact Our Experienced New York City Clergy Sex Abuse Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Clergy sexual abuse is an epidemic that no child should have to endure. If you or a loved one was the victim of clergy sexual abuse in New York City, our experienced team of form sex-crime prosecutors at the Derek Smith Law Group can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today at (212) 587-0760, We do not collect any money until you win your case.

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