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Clergy Abuse

Sexual abuse and molestation can happen anywhere. We see it every day on the evening news, in the papers, and on social media. But recent accounts of abuse among the Catholic clergy are especially devastating because they involve helpless, trusting children and the leaders of a powerful church. These are the people you have turned to for moral and spiritual guidance, and that abuse of power and trust is particularly repugnant.

At Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A., we have seen it all. We have successfully litigated and settled more than 150 church abuse cases involving a variety of religious sects. We won the largest verdict against a church in United States history, and we have had many very successful jury verdicts. We have gotten to know the survivors and have come to understand the lifelong pain they have suffered. We will stand by you as you confront your attacker, and we will hold them accountable.

Those who abuse children are often drawn to roles, jobs, or volunteer situations that put them in close proximity to vulnerable children. The child molestation and abuse that has occurred in church settings is not confined to priests and ministers alone. We understand this, and we can help you no matter who your abuser was. In addition to Priests, Ministers and Rabbis, some of those who have committed sexual assaults against children also include:

  • Youth Leaders
  • Sunday School Teachers
  • Choir Directors
  • Church volunteers

Largest Verdict in U.S. History Against a Church for Sex Abuse That Occurred on its Premises Via v. St. Elizabeth’s in 2010.

Our attorneys have tried more civil clergy abuse cases to verdict that any other Pennsylvania lawyer. Regardless of who the abuser was or how powerful his or her role in the church, we will help you to hold that person accountable for their crimes. And although no amount of money can ever make up for what you have endured, it can help you to get the counseling you need to move forward with your life. Moreover, it sends a message to abusers and those who cover for them that these behaviors will not be tolerated.

A Wide Range of Categories of Sexual Abuse and Molestation

In our experience dealing with the survivors of sexual crimes, there are many ways a person in a position of authority can have a profoundly damaging impact on a young person’s life. Abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Lewd acts or comments
  • Sexual harassment
  • Indecent exposure
  • Molestation
  • Exposure to pornographic images or videos
  • Sexual assault
  • Statutory rape
  • Unwanted touching, with or without clothing
  • Sexual threats

A Lifetime of Pain and Suffering

Because clergy and other abusers within the church occupy roles as trusted guides and spiritual leaders, they may hold heavy power over an innocent child. They slowly “groom” victims into complacency and silence, which can erode a child’s self-esteem and confidence. The victim often comes to believe that they were at fault for the adult’s abhorrent actions. The shame and trauma can follow children into their adulthood and may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other psychological problems. Many have committed suicide because the memories are too difficult to deal with. But there is help. Our attorneys and staff are trained, experienced, and compassionate in dealing with these very sensitive cases. If you are a survivor of sex abuse, we can help you to find the resources you need to move forward, and the validation you need by making your voice heard.

A Pending Change in the Law

A significant change in Pennsylvania law is pending with a bill that would end limitations on child abuse prosecutions. That means it would no longer matter how long it took for a survivor of abuse to come forward, or how long ago the crime occurred. This could be a major victory for and validation of victims’ rights.

Clergy Abuse Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Provide Compassionate Counsel for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

At Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A., we offer responsive, personal guidance and fierce advocacy for your rights. Our dedicated clergy abuse lawyers in Pennsylvania and Delaware work tirelessly to secure justice and compensation for every case we handle. To arrange a free consultation at our Media, Pennsylvania office, please call 484-207-7585 today or contact us online. All calls are confidential, and you will always be treated with respect. From our offices in Pennsylvania and Delaware, we represent clients in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.

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Since our founding, Jacobs & Crumplar has represented those injured physically, mentally, and emotionally by companies and the government. We are deeply troubled by the senseless killing of George Floyd and the injustice shown to countless others over the years. Consistent with our tradition, Jacobs & Crumplar stands in solidarity with all those working to eliminate systemic racism and with those who have been victimized by prejudice. Building a better society requires us all to play an active role.