Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh recently hosted a press release to reveal that his office has uncovered evidence of more than 80 years of clergy sexual abuse carried out or covered up by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Through the investigation, at least 600 young victims throughout those years have been identified, making the shocking revelation one of the largest bombshells against the Catholic Church. AG Frosh has filed for a judge to release more than 450 pages of documents that detail the abuse throughout the decades.
According to the scathing report, “no parish was safe” from the widespread, unchecked, and unpunished sexual abuse throughout the Baltimore Archdiocese, which was the first Catholic diocese ever established in the country. Investigators found reports of sexual abuse involving boys and girls of all ages, ranging from preschoolers to 18-year-olds.
No Punishment for Known Sex Abusers
Despite knowing about the many incidents of sexual abuse within its ranks, the Baltimore Archdiocese has reportedly done very little to punish offenders and protect the youth. Most of the accused ministry members were never reprimanded or even moved to a different position that would keep them away from children and/or their accusers. In some cases, the Maryland AG Office even found that people who reported the abuse of one clergy member unknowingly reported it to another abuser.
115 priests who committed sex abuse and were identified in the report had previously been identified, with some of them having been prosecuted. 43 more in the report had not been identified before, with 13 of them still alive today.
Statutes of Limitations on Clergy Sex Abuse
According to AG Frosh, the criminal statute of limitations to prosecute has expired for many of the sex abuses carried out by members of the Baltimore Archdiocese. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, when most of the reported incidents occurred, the abuses would only be misdemeanors, which have shorter windows for prosecution.
However, the statute of limitations for civil claims brought against the Catholic Church for failing to protect people from sexual abuse carried out by its members is much longer. Thanks to special codes in Maryland’s civil laws, it might be possible for most or all of the sexual abuse survivors to bring forward lawsuits now, even if the abuse happened decades ago when they were children. Money can’t undo the harm that has happened, but it can help bring a sense of justice and closure.
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Lawsuits Against Institutional Defendants
Grewal Law, PLLC is one of the nation’s leading law firms for sexual abuse claims and lawsuits, especially when filed against major defendants like universities and Catholic Dioceses. We have multiple sexual abuse lawsuit settlements valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. If you believe you have a valid clergy sex abuse claim, please call (888) 211-5798 now to discuss your options with our award-winning team. Schedule an initial consultation now.