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REVIVAL WINDOW FOR ARIZONA CHILD SEX ABUSE SURVIVORS CLOSING DECEMBER 2020

REVIVAL WINDOW FOR ARIZONA CHILD SEX ABUSE SURVIVORS CLOSING DECEMBER 2020

In an effort to empower survivors of child sexual abuse in Arizona to pursue justice through the court system, advocates and lawmakers fought hard and finally won the passing of the Child Protection Act on May 7, 2019. This new law opened a revival window which gives all survivors more time to file lawsuits for their abuse. Survivors over the age of 30 in Arizona only have until December 30, 2020 to file their civil claims that had previously expired. Once the window closes, their claims will revert to being time-barred.

Prior to the passing of this law, Arizona’s statute of limitations (SOL) was one of the shortest in the United States, making it amongst the worst for survivors. They were forced to file claims for their abuse by age 20. According to mental health experts and sexual abuse advocates, it can take decades for survivors to process what happened to them, and find the courage to speak about their experience. Many victims are afraid they won’t be believed, or are just too ashamed to talk about the trauma of the abuse.  According to science, the average age child sex abuse victims disclose their abuse is age 52.

Under Arizona’s Child Protection Act, all children currently being abused will have until they reach age 30 to file a civil suit against not only their abuser, but against other individuals, entity or the government for intentional and negligent conduct, including the failure to report child sexual abuse. The claims of adults under age 30 who were abused as children, are revived. They have until they reach age 30 to sue. Adults age 30 and older, can sue only while the revival window is open, until December 30, 2020. In comparison to other states, Arizona’s 19-month window is shorter than the average, but it does include liability for abusers and any individuals or entities that enabled the abuse.

The statistics are devastating. Today in America, every 73 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted. Every 9 minutes, that victim is a child. About 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. Sixty percent of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone. All abusers, other individuals, entities or government officials who were negligent in failing to report child sexual abuse must take responsibility and be held accountable. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in Arizona. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISCIPLINES LONGTIME TITUSVILLE MASSAGE THERAPIST AFTER MULTIPLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REPORTS

HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISCIPLINES LONGTIME TITUSVILLE MASSAGE THERAPIST AFTER MULTIPLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REPORTS

On Friday, November 20, 2020, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of massage therapist, Thomas Gregory Grasso.  The Emergency Order prohibits his practice of massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida.  The Emergency Order was entered in response to three sexual misconduct complaints by clients at Daly Family Chiropractic in Titusville. Grasso, reportedly a subcontractor there, has been a licensed massage therapist since January 1993. 

On June 25, 2020, Grasso, age 57, performed a full body massage on a 42-year old female client he had seen several times in the past at Daly Family Chiropractic.  During the massage, he placed something soft in her hands. She was not sure what it was but it felt awkward. The following month on July 20, the woman booked another session with Grasso. Again, he placed something soft in her hands. On August 17, in another session, while massaging her buttocks, Grasso moved his hands closer and closer to her vagina, and told her that her muscles were “super tight” multiple times. According to the Order, he then touched on and around her vaginal area with his hands. Again he reportedly placed something soft in her right hand. It was his penis, according to the Order.

On September 10, 2020, Grasso performed a massage on a 52-year old female client he had previously seen several times over a two month period at Daly Family Chiropractic. According to the Order, during the session, he exposed his penis and placed it in her hands. The woman was “terrified and mortified,” and reported the incident to the Titusville Police Department.

On September 28, 2020, Grasso performed a massage on a 59-year old female client he had previously seen several times over a five month period at Daly Family Chiropractic. According to the Order, during the session, she felt him touch her wrist and hand with something soft, that made her suspicious. The following month, on October 7, the woman returned for another session with Grasso. While massaging her, he reportedly removed his penis from his shorts and rubbed it one her.  The Order says he started masturbating and touched her back, shoulders and hair. He then reportedly asked her to turn over on her back. He proceeded to pull her hands and arms over her head and rubbed his penis on her hands and wrists. Disturbed by the incident, she reported it to the Titusville Police Department. He was arrested and charged with battery and exposure of a sexual organ.

According to the Department of Health, Grasso flagrantly disregarded the laws and regulations governing massage therapists by willfully violating the massage therapist-patient relationship.  The Order ensures he can no longer pose an immediate, serious danger to the public’s health, welfare and safety, pending a final hearing by the Department. When clients book a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa will act professionally and expect they are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists and spas on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched during a massage. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Br. Terrence Wong – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Terrence Wong

Diocese of Oakland/Marianists

Terrence Wong Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Died: 1997

Assignment History:

  • Joseph High School (Alameda, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Terrence Wong:

A member of the Marianist religious order, Fr. Terrence Wong, was accused in a civil lawsuit, alleging that he sexually abused a child from approximately 1967 to 1970 at St. Joseph High School in Alameda. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown. Fr. Wong died in 1997. He was listed publicly on the Oakland Diocese’s 2019 list and the Marianists’ 2020 list of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Gordon Wilcox – Diocese of Oakland

Father Gordon Wilcox

Diocese of Oakland/Holy Cross

Gordon Wilcox Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Died: 1984

Assignment History:

  • 1956-1960: St. George’s College (Chile)
  • 1961-1963: University of Portland (Portland, OR)
  • 1964-1970: Notre Dame High School (Niles, IL)
  • 1971-1978: Moreau High School (Hayward, CA)
  • 1979-1981: Unknown
  • 1982: University of Portland (Portland, OR)
  • 1983: Unknown
  • 1984: Moreau Seminary (Notre Dame, IN)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gordon Wilcox:

Fr. Gordon Wilcox was a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross religious order. In 2003, Fr. Wilcox has been named in a civil lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse. The victim claimed he was abused by Fr. Wilcox and Fr. Donald Eagleson, another known child sexual abuser. The abuse allegedly occurred in 1971 at Moreau High School in Hayward, CA, where Fr. Wilcox worked.  According to reports released, there was another allegation against Wilcox made in 2012. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown. Fr. Wilcox died in 1984.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Stephen Whelan – Diocese of Oakland

Father Stephen Whelan

Diocese of Oakland/Salesians

Stephen Whelan Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1970: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)
  • 1971-1978: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1979-1980: St. Francis Junior High School (Watsonville, CA)
  • 1981-1983: Unknown
  • 1984-2005: SS. Peter and Paul (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2006-2008: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2009-2016: Berkeley Salesians of Don Bosco (Berkeley, CA)
  • 2017-2018: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Stephen Whelan:

Fr. Stephen Whelan is a Salesian priest who worked in several California dioceses, including the Diocese of Oakland and Archdiocese of San Francisco. In 2003, Fr. Whelan was accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a child from 1970 to 1971 at St. John Bosco High School in Richmond, California. He was found guilty and was removed from ministry immediately following the verdict. Fr. Whelan was sent to a provincial house in Berkeley, California, where he still resides today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Francis Verngren – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Francis Verngren

Diocese of Oakland/Christian Brothers

Francis Verngren Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1936

Died: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1937-1939: Unknown
  • 1940-1959: St. Peter’s High School and Sacred Heart High School (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1959-1969: St. Mary’s College High School (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1969-1984: St. Mary’s College High School (Napa, CA)
  • 1984: Justin-Siena High School (Napa, CA)
  • 1985-1988: Unknown
  • 1989: Retired

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Francis Verngren:

Br. Francis Verngren was a member of the Christian Brothers religious order. In 2003, a man filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Br. Verngren sexually abused him when he was a child from 1966 until 1970 while Br. Verngren was principal and head dorm resident at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley. The lawsuit was settled within a few months, and Verngren died that same year.

Br. Verngren is publicly named on the Oakland Diocese’s and the Santa Rosa Diocese’s 2019 lists of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. John Vas – Diocese of Oakland

Brother John Vas

Diocese of Oakland/Salesian

John Vas Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Assignment History:

  • 1959-1967: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother John Vas:

Br. John Vas was a member of the Salesians religious order who worked in the Diocese of Oakland and San Francisco. In 2008, a woman accused Br. Vas of sexually abusing her for approximately seven years beginning in the 1960s when she was seven years old at Salesian High School in Richmond, CA, where Br. Vas was the band instructor.

Br. Vas has reportedly been accused of sexually abusing at least one other person. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown. As of 2008, Br. Vas was living in Florida with his wife of 38 years.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Ramon Varela – Diocese of Oakland

Father Ramon Varela

Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans

Ramon Varela Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1949

Died: 2002

Assignment History:

  • 1949-1955: Native American Mission, AZ
  • 1955-1960: St. Mary’s (Stockton, CA)
  • 1960-1962: Mission San Miguel (San Miguel, CA)
  • 1962-1963: St. Peter’s (Bapchule, AZ)
  • 1963-1967: Sacred Heart (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1967-1968: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland CA)
  • 1968-1970: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Fresno, CA)
  • 1970-1972: Our Lady of Guadalupe (San Jose, CA)
  • 1972-1976: Ascension (Portland, OR)
  • 1975-1978: Saints Simon and Jude (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • 1978-1979: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Delano, CA)
  • 1979 Sacred Heart (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1979-1993: St. Francis Home (Santa Ana, NM)
  • 1993-2001: ElderCare Facilities (NM)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Ramon Varela:

Fr. Ramon Varela, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara, was named publicly as accused by the Franciscans’ Santa Barbara Province on its 2019 list Friars that are Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor. According to this list, a report was made in 1994, alleging that Fr. Varela sexually abused minors from 1949 to 1979. Fr. Varela died in 2002. His status as a priest and whether he had access to children from 1993 until his death is unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Robert Van Handel – Diocese of Oakland

Father Robert Van Handel

Diocese of Oakland/FranciscansRobert Van Handel Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975

Laicized: 1997

Assignment History:

  • 1975-1991: St. Anthony Seminary (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1991-1992: Franciscan Friars Provincial House, Oakland, CA
  • 1992: St. Luke Institute (Suiteland, MD)
  • 1993-2020: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Robert Van Handel:

A Franciscan priest in California, Fr. Robert Van Handel, started a boys’ choir in Berkeley and later moved to Santa Barbara, where he taught at St. Anthony’s Seminary High School and founded the Santa Barbara Boys’ Choir. At these locations, Fr. Van Handel allegedly abused at least 25 boys from 1975 to 1992, including his own nephew.

The first allegation of child sexual abuse against Fr. Van Handel came in 1992 and resulted in Fr. Van Handel being removed from active ministry. He was then sent to St. Luke Institute, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse.

In 1994, Fr. Van Handel was criminally charged with sexually abusing students and sentenced to eight years in prison. He only served four years in prison and was on parole for four years. After his release in 1998, he moved to Santa Cruz, California, and is a registered sex offender.

A sexual autobiography written by Father Robert Van Handel for a therapist was released describing the sexual events throughout his life, including his abuse of children. In the document, he claims that he was sexually abused as a student at St. Anthony’s in the 1960s. He states, “There is something about me that is happier when accompanied by a small boy…Perhaps besides the sexual element, the child in me wants a playmate.”

Fr. Van Handel was laicized in 1997. He was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors and the Oakland Diocese’s list, and the Santa Barbara Province Franciscans’ list in 2019.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Fr. Gary B. Tollner – Diocese of Oakland

Father Gary B. Tollner

Diocese of OaklandGary B. Tollner Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1961

Died: 1999

Assignment History:

  • 1961-1966 St. John the Baptist (El Cerrito, CA)
  • 1966-1971 St. Lawrence O’Toole (Oakland, CA)
  • 1971-1973 Santa Maria (Orinda, CA)
  • 1973-1985 St. Phillip Neri (Alameda, CA)
  • 1985-1995 St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus (Oakland, CA)
  • 1985-1999 Propagation of the Faith (Oakland, CA)
  • 1988-1999 St. Peter the Apostle Society (Oakland, CA)
  • 1989-1999 Catholic Ladies’ Aid Society (Oakland, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gary B. Tollner:

A priest of the Oakland Diocese, Fr. Gary Tollner, has been accused of sexually abusing at least six children since the 1960s. In 1982, his sister-in-law reported that he had sexually abused her developmentally disabled young adult son. When this accusation came to light, others began to report abuse by Fr. Tollner. Reports were also made by parishioners that alleged that Fr. Tollner was engaging in suspicious behavior with young boys involving alcohol, drugs, and a hot tub.

In 1985, Fr. Tollner was sent to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sex abuse.  In 1987, Tollner was accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy at St. Lawrence O’Toole beginning in 1966, and that the abuse continued into adulthood. From 1985 to 1995, Tollner was allowed to reside at a parish, which had a school, in which he held several Chancery positions. Tollner died in 1999. Fr. Tollner was named publicly as a sex offender at the February 2004 Diocese of Oakland’s apology service.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.