Tag: New Jersey clergy abuse

Diocese of Camden bankruptcy sexual abuse

Analyzing Diocese of Camden’s List of Priests Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse

A startling fact jumps out when you review the list of priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Camden New Jersey: Many of them are still alive.

So one or more of them could have raped a girl yesterday, groped a boy last night or is grooming an unsuspecting family full of kids right now.

The only silver lining here is that since they’re alive, they might still be prosecuted, convicted, jailed and kept away from kids.

This is one reason why you should come forward now if you saw, suspected or suffered ANY wrongdoing by ANY current or former Camden area clerics.

There are actually LOTS of reasons to come forward now. But here’s one you may not be aware of: victims of Camden clergy face an impending deadline.

On June 30, 2021 the Camden diocesan bankruptcy window closes. If you come forward before then, you may receive compensation for your pain AND you will likely be able to get your perpetrator publicly named, which helps to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

If you come forward AFTER that date, your legal options will be far more limited if not eliminated.

And here are two facts about filing an abuse claim that many don’t understand.

First, you can file a claim without your identity being made public.

Second, even after stepping forward, you can withdraw your claim without penalty or explanation any time you want.

Now, back to the Camden accused list. Two other parts of it are noteworthy.

–It shows the same sad patterns of dangerous men being shuffled by church officials to other countries (Vietnam), far-away states (Alaska and California), islands (Puerto Rico), and to chaplaincies at prisons and hospitals.

Consider Fr. Charles J. Davis, who has been sent all across the US, to FL, AL, AK, MD, PA, CA, NY and GA.

–Apparently, if we are to believe Camden church officials, over the past two years, not a single credible child sex abuse report was made against a single Camden New Jersey priest, nun, seminarian, brother, monk or bishop.

We know this because, as best we can tell, there’s been no update to the list since February 2019.

(Here’s a little-known fact about the Camden diocese. It was the first in the United State to face a RICO case and the first in the US in which a priest, Fr. Gary Hayes, sued his own bishop over abuse that Fr. Hayes suffered at the hands of two Camden clerics. https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/1993_06_10_Walsh_ThreeCharge_Joseph_McGarvey_3.htm

Horowitz Law represents victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you experienced sexual abuse in the Diocese of Camden by a priest or other employee, contact our office today. The Camden Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but strict filing deadlines apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

New Jersey Law Gives Sexual Abuse Victims More Time To Sue

Beginning December 1, 2019, New Jersey Law Expands Statute of Limitations Allowing Sex Abuse Victims More Time To Sue

The State of New Jersey passed legislation which will empower victims of child sexual abuse to sue their attackers. The new law, which takes effect December 1, 2019, significantly extends the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims and creates a two-year window for older claims whose statue of limitations had previously expired to be filed. It will now also be easier for survivors to seek damages from the organizations and the institutions that employed abusers and covered up the abuse. 

New Jersey’s old law gave survivors of sexual abuse only two years to sue for damages. A victim of child sexual abuse was allowed to file civil claims within two years after turning age 18, or within two years from the time they become aware of the abuse.  Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that now enables victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers up until they turn 55 years old, or seven years from the date they became aware of the abuse.  But, victims older than 55, will have the two year window beginning December 1, 2019, regardless of their age.

“Survivors of sexual abuse deserve opportunities to seek redress against their abusers,” Murphy said after the signing. “This legislation allows survivors who have faced tremendous trauma the ability to pursue justice through the court system.” 

According to mental health experts and sexual abuse advocates, it often take years for survivors to 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.  

States throughout the country have been demanding that current statute of limitations laws involving claims of child sexual abuse be amended. So far, ten other states have passed a similar statute of limitations bill, but the distinction in New Jersey’s law is that the window allows adults who were sexually assaulted to file lawsuits, as well.  For a long time the Catholic Church and insurance companies opposed the bill, fearing a flood of victims suing for cases based on flimsy evidence would make religious groups and nonprofits more vulnerable to financial losses. 

“While we disagreed on specific elements of this legislation, the Catholic community, the Legislature and the governor sincerely agree on one key position — the need to restore justice for the victims of sexual abuse in New Jersey,” the Archdiocese of Newark said in a statement. “The Catholic community is confident that the Independent Victims Compensation Program established by the five dioceses in New Jersey is a significant step towards restoring justice for those who, as minors, were abused by ministers of the Church. Further, we are committed to the comprehensive healing of those harmed and we will continue our policies aimed at protecting children from abuse.”

New Jersey Sen. Joseph Vitale has been fighting for the legislation for the past 15 years, and was a primary sponsor of the newly passed bill. Last summer, the Pennsylvania attorney general released a detailed report revealing decades of abuse and coverup by the Catholic Church in New Jersey. Vitale said the report prompted renewed efforts to pass the bill, and that many of his colleagues asked to be co-sponsors.

“It’s a big day.” We always talk about finding justice for all the survivors, not just those in the past but those that will need it in the future.”

The statistics are shocking. Sexual violence affects millions of people. Today in America, every 73 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted. Every 9 minutes, that victim is a child. Somehow, only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. The new legislation passed in New Jersey is a positive step in our nation’s commitment to protect its citizens. Any organization or institution in which sexual abuse is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential employees. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse in New Jersey. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested in New Jersey, 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.

 

New Jersey Catholic Dioceses Announce Launch of Voluntary Settlement Fund

Unlike Other Claim Funds, the New Jersey Catholic Conference Has Announced It Will Arbitrarily Exclude Claims Against Religious Order Priests and Lay Employees 

NEWARK, NJ – Adam Horowitz, a nationally-recognized advocate for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, announces the launch of a new database of clergy and lay employees accused of sexual abuse in the Catholic dioceses of New Jersey: Archdiocese of Newark, Diocese of Camden, Diocese of Metuchen, Diocese of Paterson, and Diocese of Trenton.  The database, which includes 328 priests as of today, and is believed to be the most comprehensive list of accused offenders available. This is far more than have been identified publicly by the dioceses themselves.

For the benefit of survivors and journalists alike, Horowitz and his team have painstakingly prepared individual profiles on dozens of accused offenders to consolidate available information about their backgrounds, alleged crimes, and, in the case of offenders who are still alive, their current locations.  Many of these profiles include photographs that are not available anywhere else. Horowitz’s website contains similar databases for dioceses in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington D.C.

The database also includes priests who belong to religious orders, such as the Jesuits and Salesians of Don Bosco.  Unlike some of their counterparts in the Diocese of Scranton and the Diocese of Erie, the Bishops of New Jersey have arbitrarily chosen to bar anyone abused by priests affiliated with religious orders and non-clergy lay employees, such as teachers, youth ministers, and coaches, from recovering from the fund.  This prohibition applies even when the offender committed the abuse in a church or school run by dioceses. However, due the passage of a new law allowing anyone sexually abused in New Jersey to file lawsuits during a limited-time window, survivors of those perpetrators still have legal options in New Jersey’s courts.

The deadline to file claims with the compensation fund is December 31, 2019.  Registration of new claims begins Saturday, June 15, 2019.

Horowitz’s database of accused priests is available at: https://adamhorowitzlaw.com/who-we-sue/church-sexual-abuse/new-jersey/

Click on the links to each individual diocese’s page for profiles of the accused priests who worked in that diocese.

Horowitz says the database will be continuously updated as the names of more accused individuals become public.  You are encouraged to bookmark the link for easy access to the information.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the State of New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in New Jersey now have legal options against those who have harmed them.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 – or toll free at (888) 283-9922, or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

 

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.

 

New Jersey Set to Become the Latest State Adopting Longer Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse

New Jersey is set to become the latest state to expand its statute of limitations for survivors of sexual abuse to seek justice against those who have harmed them.  The law will apply not only to abusers themselves, but to any persons or organizations that were negligent in allowing the abuse of a child to occur, such as a school, athletic league, or church.

The proposed law, which has been stalled in the New Jersey legislature for almost 20 years, will extend the time victims have to sue to age 55, or 7 years from the discovery of the connection between their psychological injuries and their abuse (known as “the discovery rule”).

Critically, the bill will also open a two-year window during which anyone can file suit for damages arising from sexual abuse, including anyone whose claims were previously barred by the statute of limitations.  This measure will allow many survivors of abuse access to the courts when it had previously been denied to them.

Recent studies show that the average survivor of sexual abuse reports his or her abuse as a child after the age of 50.  This law, like many others now being passed and considered nationally, recognizes that child sexual abuse is something that people are not typically ready to deal with until much later in life. In the case of many survivors, it will also shift the cost of treating the effects of sexual abuse from the State to those who are actually responsible for the abuse.

The law will affect hundreds, if not thousands, of children sexually abused by priests in the five New Jersey Catholic dioceses.  Recently, the New Jersey Catholic Conference announced voluntary settlement funds to resolve claims of child sexual abuse by clergy in an abbreviated process that does not allow for a discovery of information held in the secret files of New Jersey’s bishops.  However, under the new law, plaintiffs would be allowed access to that information and the public will finally know what Catholic leaders have done to enable the abuse of New Jersey’s children for decades (and what, if anything, they have done to prevent it).

It also abolishes the doctrine of charitable immunity in cases of child sexual abuse.  Previously, under New Jersey law, a non-profit organization could claim immunity for alleged negligence in the commission of crimes and against children.  It will also enact additional protections for victims who file lawsuits, including barring evidence of the victim’s sexual history.

The bill has passed both houses of the legislature and is expected to be signed by the governor when it hits his desk.

Title New Jersey abuse. Horowitz Law

What You Need to Know About New Jersey Catholic Diocese Victim Compensation Program

All five of the Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey have created a unified compensation fund to provide money to people who were sexually abused as children by their clergy.  Victims will be eligible for the funds regardless of whether the statute of limitations has passed on their ability to file a lawsuit against the Diocese or priests.  Payouts will be determined by fund administrators based in part on the extent and duration of the abuse, the nature of the abuse, age of the victim, the impact on the victim’s life, and whether drugs and alcohol were a factor.

The program’s start and finish date have not yet been announced.  Contact Horowitz law today for additional details on how to bring a compensation claim.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide.  We have handled similar fund claims in New York and Pennsylvania. Contact us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or (954) 641-2100 to discuss your options today with a lawyer regarding how to bring a claim in the New Jersey Dioceses compensation fund program.

Some clergy abuse victims praised the opportunity to receive compensation while others view the funds as a public relations tool by the Diocese Bishops to quash legislation that would older victims of abuse an opportunity to file lawsuit on time-barred claims.  Unlike the clams process, a lawsuit would potentially yield answers to questions about the priest’s history of abuse and the role that Bishops and other Diocese officials played in allowing such abuse to occur.

The Dioceses’ announcement comes at a critical juncture for the Catholic church as lawmakers will be deciding in the upcoming session whether whether to temporarily remove the state’s civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse.  Such a change could potentially be financially destructive to the Church and result in public gaining access to church records concerning abusive priests that have been held in secrecy for decades

The five Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey are the Archdiocese of Newark, Diocese of Camden, Diocese of Trenton, Diocese of Paterson, and Diocese of Metuchen.  Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in New Jersey now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.