Author: Adam Horowitz, Attorney

Horowitz law church abuse PHILADELPHIA

July 31 is Deadline for Victims to Register Clergy Abuse Claims in Three Pennsylvania Dioceses

July 31, 2019 is the registration deadline for anyone seeking compensation for a sexual abuse claim against clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Diocese of Pittsburgh, or Diocese of Scranton.

The compensation fund is available to victims seeking compensation for a limited time.  All survivors of clergy abuse are eligible regardless of how many years ago the abuse occurred.  While the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Pittsburgh compensation programs only allow claims against Diocesan priest, the Diocese of Scranton also allows for claims against priests from Religious Orders and lay people such as Catholic school employees.  If you have any questions about the Compensation Fund, contact Horowitz Law for more information about these fund claims. Our law firm has assembled on this website the most comprehensive database of perpetrators of sexual abuse that is available anywhere.  We have identified more perpetrators than any other source.

In certain cases, the claims process may involve gathering church sacrament records, school records, witness statements, counseling/therapy records, or photographs to support your claim. For that reason, it is critical you do not wait until the deadline to register your claim.  It is also essential that you hire an attorney who has previously handled cases involving the compensation programs in Pennsylvania.

The claims fund is voluntary and confidential.  After the fund is closed on July 31, the overwhelming majority of victims of abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Diocese of Pittsburgh, or Diocese of Scranton will no have no civil recourse against the Dioceses because Pennsylvania law requires such civil claims to be brought before the victims turns thirty (30) years old

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in Pennsylvania. If you need an attorney because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at 1-888-283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

 

Jeffrey Epstein Horowitz Law

Lawyer for Jeffrey Epstein Victims Quoted in National Media

Attorney Adam Horowitz was among the first attorneys to stand up for victims of alleged sexual misconduct by Jeffrey Epstein in Florida, raise questions about the Non-Prosecution Agreement, and file lawsuits in Palm Beach County, Florida. In all, Adam Horowitz represented eight of the alleged victims.

Several national media outlets recently quoted Adam Horowitz in connection with the recent developments in the Jeffrey Epstein criminal case in New York after Jeffrey Epstein was arrested upon his private plane arriving in the United States from France. Mr. Epstein is now facing federal sex trafficking charges that emanate from his activities between 2002 and 2005.

New York Times  – Examining Acosta’s Claims on the Epstein Prosecution – July 10, 2019

Washington Post – Acosta said prosecutors wanted to guarantee Jeffrey Epstein would go to jail. The reality is more complicate – July 11, 2019

Washington Post The pressure on a prosecutor: How Epstein’s wealth and power steered Acosta toward lenient deal – July 12, 2019

Forbes – Jeffrey Epstein’s Dark Facade Finally Cracks – July 12, 2019

If you or someone you know was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, please contact a lawyer experienced in bringing lawsuits against Jeffrey Epstein. call 1-888-283-9922 or send an email to attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Bernard Torres massage Horowitz Law

Department of Health Restricts Hand and Stone Massage Therapist Due to Alleged Sexual Misconduct

The Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order on May 24, 2019 restricting the massage therapy license of Bernard Torres in response to female clients reporting Torres engaged in sexual misconduct during massage appointments.  The incidents were reported to have occurred at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa, a massage establishment in Jacksonville.

The Department of Health found that Torres’ “unrestricted ability to provide massage services to female clients constitutes an immediate, serious danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”  Bernard Torres has been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since 2005.  Prior to this incident Torres was employed as a “lead massage therapist” at Hand and Stone in Jacksonville

According to the Department of Health’s Emergency Order, Torres was performing a massage on D.R., a 61 year old female on March 21, 2019.  While the patient was face-up, Torres moved the draping down to her hips exposing the client’s breasts without her consent. He then is alleged to have brushed his hands over the breasts several times and massaged her between the breasts.  The patient reported this activity to the managers of Hand and Stone as well as the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.  Prior to this alleged incident, Torres had been warned by Hand and Stone when a different female patient alleged that Torres exposed her breasts during a massage after numerous attempts to pull the draping up.

Clients of massage therapists are placed in isolated, vulnerable settings where they can be subject to abuse by their massage therapists. Due to the potential for abuse that is inherent under these circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy.   Incidents such as this are a reminder that persons who may commit sexual misconduct work in all industries, even professions in which we typically place our blind trust.  All allegations of sexual abuse must be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and employers must be especially vigilant in supervision and protection at all times.

Attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in handling claims nationwide on behalf of victims of sexual assault by massage therapists, including at Hand and Stone and other national chains, spas, and hotels. You can reach Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or call our law firm at (954) 641-2100.

New Jersey Sexual Abuse - Horowitz Law

IVCP – New Jersey Catholic Dioceses – What You Need to Know

Beginning June 15, 2019, people who were sexually abused during their childhood by priests and other clergy of one of the Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey may receive an invitation to participate in the Independent Victim Compensation Program (“IVCP”).  If you receive such an invitation, it is important to contact an attorney before making a decision on participating in the IVCP.  While the program is designed to compensate clergy abuse victims, there are other legal options you will want to consider.

The IVCP may be the right compensation program for some clergy abuse victims, but it is not for everyone.  For instance, a civil lawsuit may be better and more valuable option for your claim.  A lawsuit will give you the opportunity to learn the full history of the priests and get documents about what the Diocese knew about the offending priest and when they knew it.  If you decide to settle your claim through the IVCP program, you will be giving up potentially-valuable legal rights to file a lawsuit in New Jersey against the Diocese and others responsible for your sexual abuse.

Horowitz Law is representing numerous victims of sexual abuse by priests in New Jersey and has decades of experience handling these claims. It is important that you contact a sexual abuse attorney well-versed in the inner working of the Catholic Church and who has knowledge of the scope of the clergy abuse scandal. At Horowitz Law, we painstakingly assembled biographies on every priest in the State of New Jersey who has publicly faced an allegation of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Paterson, and Trenton.

Horowitz Law assists client in in assembling evidence, preparing and submitting the claims form in a timely manner, and communicating and meeting with the fund administrators.

The effective date of the IVCP is June 15, 2019.  The program is available to anyone abuse by clergy of one of the New Jersey Dioceses regardless of whether the clergyman was affiliated with a school, parish or other agency of the Diocese. Program administrations report that the claims will be handled in the order in which they are received, starting with claims of sexual abuse that were reported to the Diocese prior to the date of this Protocol.  Victims shall be eligible for compensation regardless of whether they have previously reported these incidents to the Diocese or law enforcement.  Victims will not be eligible for the program if they have previously settled their clergy abuse claim or if the abuse was committed by a religious Order priest or priest of a Dioceses outside New Jersey.  Notably, the entire IVCP process is confidential and claimant will not have their names publicly disclosed by applying for compensation.

The program will be independently administered by neutral fund administrators in two Phases.  Phase I, which begins June 15, 2019, is available to victims who reported their abuse on or before June 15, 2019 to their Diocese.  Phase II is for victims who have not previously reported their abuse.  Phase II victims may register their claims beginning June 15, 2019 and continuing through October 31, 2019.  The deadline to file claims for Phase I and II is December 31, 2019.

New Jersey Sexual Abuse - Horowitz Law

New Jersey Dioceses Sets Compensation Fund Rules for Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims

The Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Trenton and Paterson have set a start date of June 15, 2019 for the Independent Victim Compensation Program (“IVCP”).  The IVCP is intended to compensate victims of sexual abuse by their clergy regardless of how many years ago the abuse occurred.  Claimants must complete a questionnaire with sworn answers and submit documentation (if such materials exists) to be eligible for compensation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm experienced in representing clients seeking financial compensation from the Catholic Church in New Jersey for sexual abuse.  Call Horowitz Law at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free confidential consultation concerning representation.  We only handle cases on a contingency basis and there is no fee if there is no recovery.

The effective date of the IVCP is June 15, 2019.  The program is available to anyone abuse by clergy of one of the New Jersey Dioceses regardless of whether the clergyman was affiliated with a school, parish or other agency of the Diocese. Program administrations report that the claims will be handled in the order in which they are received, starting with claims of sexual abuse that were reported to the Diocese prior to the date of this Protocol.  Victims shall be eligible for compensation regardless of whether they have previously reported these incidents to the Diocese or law enforcement.  Victims will not be eligible for the program if they have previously settled their clergy abuse claim or if the abuse was committed by a religious Order priest or priest of a Dioceses outside New Jersey.  Notably, the entire IVCP process is confidential and claimant will not have their names publicly disclosed by applying for compensation.

The program will be independently administered by neutral fund administrators in two Phases.  Phase I, which begins June 15, 2019, is available to victims who reported their abuse on or before June 15, 2019 to their Diocese.  Phase II is for victims who have not previously reported their abuse.  Phase II victims may register their claims beginning June 15, 2019 and continuing through October 31, 2019.  The deadline to file claims for Phase I and II is December 31, 2019.

 

Archdiocese of Santa Fe Horowitz Law

Deadline Approaching to File Sexual Abuse Claims Against Archdiocese of Santa Fe

All clergy sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, currently in bankruptcy, must be filed by June 17, 2019.   The Archdiocese has been in bankruptcy since December 2018 and the deadline has been set by the Bankruptcy Court for New Mexico.  If would like an attorney to represent you in the claims process, please contact Horowitz Law immediately.

Anyone who desires to file a claim against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe for sexual abuse by one of its priests, deacons or lay people must submit a “Proof of Claim Form” to the bankruptcy court. The claims form must be received by the Clerk of Court in the Bankrupty Court by 5 p.m. (Mountain Time) on June 17, 2019 or it will not be considered.  Any person who has a sexual abuse claim against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and does not file a sexual abuse claim by that date may not be treated as a creditor for voting or distribution purposes under any plan of reorganization and such claim may be subject to discharge. Further, if such sexual abuse claim is discharged, the sexual abuse claimant may be forever barred and prevented from asserting his or her sexual abuse claim against the Debtor, and may not receive any payment or distribution in connection with such sexual abuse claim.

For the purposes of filing a Sexual Abuse Proof of Claim in this Bankruptcy, a Sexual Abuse Claim is defined as any claim against the Archdiocese resulting or arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly from any actual or alleged sexual conduct or misconduct, sexual abuse or molestation, indecent assault and/or battery, rape, pedophilia, ephebophilia, or sexually-related physical, psychological, or emotional harm, or contacts, or interactions of a sexual nature between a child and an adult, or a non-consenting adult and another adult, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual psychological or emotional abuse, humiliation, or intimidation, or any other sexual misconduct, and seeking monetary damages or any other relief, under any theory of liability, including vicarious liability, any negligence-based theory,
contribution, indemnity, or any other theory based on any acts or failures to act by the Archdiocese
or any other person or entity for whose acts or failures to act the Archdiocese is or was allegedly
responsible.

All sexual abuse claims filed in the bankruptcy court shall remain confidential unless a person decides to waive confidentiality on their paperwork.  More than 350 abuse survivors have been documented in the archdiocese over the last 25 years. At least 16 priests who served in Taos County parishes have been named as child abusers by the archdiocese, in lawsuits or both.  The archdiocese has about $49 million in assets, including about $31.6 million in property, according to the court documents. Under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, the debtor – in this case, the church – comes up with a plan to pay its debts while also continuing to operate.

 

Jerry Matos Horowitz Law

Montverde Academy Fires Dean of Students and Investigates Sexual Contacts With Underage Student

Montverde Academy dean of students Jerry Matos has been fired by the school as it investigates a sexual relationship Matos allegedly had with an underage female student.  Matos, age 29, is also under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Families.  Montverde Headmaster Kasey Kesserling also ordered Matos to vacate his school-provided home.

Matos has not been arrested or charged with a crime at this time.  Both Matos and the student he is alleged to have a relationship with have denied the allegations according the the Sheriff’s Office, but Matos did offer to resign when confronted with the claim. The law enforcement report also noted that the student initially told her family the allegations were true when they first came to light.

Montverde Academy is an elite, co-ed boarding school in Lake County, Florida with a nationally-recognized athletics program.  The school has produced multiple NBA players.  Matos had worked at Montverde Academy since 2009.  In addition to serving as dean of students since 2016, Matos also worked as the Academy’s director of baseball operations.

 

Marc DeTomaso Horowitz Law

Massage Luxe Employee Found Guilty of Inappropriately Touching Client During Massage in Bonita Springs

A Fort Myers, Florida jury found massage therapist Marc DeTomaso guilty of battery for violating a female customer during a massage in February 2017 at Massage Luxe in Bonita Springs.  The customer reported that DeTomaso forced his face between her legs and performed oral sex on her during the last five minutes of the massage appointment without her consent.  The victim reported the incident to Massage Luxe management who called the police. DeTomaso fled the spa before the police arrived.

The State Attorney presented evidence at trial that DNA matching DeTomaso was in a rape kit administered on the woman right after the incident. Judge Joseph Fuller sentenced DeTomaso to one year in jail, as well as court and medical costs associated with the victim’s exams.  DeTomaso, age 56, had been licensed as a massage therapist in Florida since 2000.  His massage therapy license was revoked by the Florida Department of Health in May 2018 on account of this incident.

Jurors heard testimony from the victim and another woman who filed a sexual misconduct complaint against DeTomaso about an encounter that occurred about a month before the February 2017 incident. That woman said she was inspired to notify authorities of the encounter when she saw on the news that DeTomaso was charged with sexual battery.

Sex abuse attorney Adam Horowitz is experienced in filing lawsuits on behalf of victims of sex assault by massage therapists, including at Massage LuXeIf you have a been a victim of sexual assault in a spa or during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com. 

 

 

New Jersey sexual abuse Horowitz Law

New Jersey Law Gives Victims of Sexual Abuse More Time to File Civil Lawsuits

Today was a great day for civil justice in the State of New Jersey!

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey today signed legislation extending the statute of limitations in civil actions for sexual abuse claims. Under the new law, child victims will be able to file lawsuits until they turn 55 years old (or seven years from the moment they discover an injury was caused by past abuse, whichever is later). The law also creates a two-year “window” from December 1, 2019 to November 30, 2021 for people to bring lawsuits based on incidents of sexual abuse that were previously time-barred by the old version of the statute of limitations.  New Jersey previously eliminated the statute of limitations for criminal cases of sexual assault.

Victims of sexual abuse and their advocates have for many years been seeking to reform the statute of limitations in New Jersey to give victims greater access to the courthouse to obtain a civil remedy for sexual abuse.  “Survivors of sexual abuse deserve opportunities to seek redress against their abusers,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This legislation allows survivors who have faced tremendous trauma the ability to pursue justice through the court system. I thank the bill’s sponsors for their commitment to tackling this issue, as well as the advocates for their activism and engagement.”

Not surprisingly, insurance companies and the Catholic Bishops in New Jersey were among the most vocal opposition to the bill becoming law.  The new law creates massive liability exposure of the Archdiocese of Newark, Diocese of Camden, Diocese of Trenton, Diocese of Paterson, and Diocese of Metuchen on account of clergy sexual abuse.  Likewise, many private schools and youth serving organizations in New Jersey who have been plagued by child sexual abuse in their institutions may have significant legal exposure.

Sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz was quoted, “The new statute of limitations for sexual abuse cases in New Jersey was a hard-fought battle by compassionate legislators,  It is a big win for abuse survivors who had previously been denied justice due to an arbitrary statute of limitations.  They will now be able to have their day in Court and be fully compensated for their childhood sexual abuse.  Hopefully, the example set in New Jersey will be followed in many other states.”

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing sexual abuse victims across the State of New Jersey.  This includes persons abused at a church, school, camp, or youth organization.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in New Jersey contact our office.  Although many years have passed, people who have been sexually abused in New Jersey finally have an opportunity at justice due to the repeal of the statute of limitations.  Contact attorney Adam Horowitz at 954-641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to find out how to submit your sexual abuse claim today.

Luis Clarke Horowitz Law

Pembroke Pines Youth Pastor Luis Clarke Arrested for Abusing Minor

Luis Clarke, a 38 year-old Youth Pastor at Abrazo tu Sueno Church in Pembroke Pines, coerced a young girl into having sex with him by threatening to turn her family into immigration authorities, according to law enforcement.  Clarke was a part-time Youth Pastor at Abrazo tu Sueno Church, 9626 Pines Boulevard, and police are concerned he may have sexually victimized other minors.

According to the police report, Clarkle molested the girl for a period of months beginning when she was 15 years old in August 2016 until February 2017 when she was 16.  The sexual abuse took place at Clarke’s Pembroke Pines home in the 1300 block of Northwest 143rd Ave., police said.  The youth pastor would pick up the girl from school, she and make her undress and then rape and molest her and take photos of her with his iPad.  Clarke has been charged with 20 counts of sexual battery on a victim between 12 and 18, two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of directing a sexual performance by a child and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition by an adult on a child under 15.

One time, Clarke picked up the girl and a teenage boy at a Hollywood park, took them to his residence where he activated his home alarm so that they couldn’t leave without triggering it and forced the boy to watch Clarke have sex with the girl, according to the arrest report.  t was the boy who went to police on April 3 to report Clarke.  Once in custody, Clarke gave a sworn statement and admitted to two sexual encounters with the girl. He told police the boy had been to his home but he denied having sex with the girl in front of him, the detective’s report said.

Attorney Adam Horowitz represents children and adults who were victims of sexual abuse by a priest, minister, rabbi, deacon, nuns, or other clergy in civil lawsuits. If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault at a church or other religious organization, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com