Maryland Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer
It’s the most unspeakable act one could imagine, committed by one of the most trusted people in a child’s life. The prevalence of sexual abuse by clergy members is well-documented, and it continues to plague individuals, families and communities across Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and the U.S. If you or someone you love has been abused by a clergy member, contact the clergy sexual abuse lawyer, Steven H. Heisler, to speak to an attorney who can help.
Why Survivors of Abuse Should Take Legal Action
Taking legal action over the abuse you’ve suffered serves many purposes. If you are the survivor of sexual abuse by a clergy member, then you are likely not alone in your experiences. Other survivors might also be filing a lawsuit or speaking out about what they’ve been through. By filing a claim, you’ll be amplifying the voices of others and helping them hold the responsible parties accountable. Even if you are the only person speaking up, you’ll still be holding them responsible for what they’ve done to you. In some cases, you might be giving others the courage to talk about similar experiences.
If you were abused by a clergy member, you have the right to pursue compensation for the damages you have experienced. It’s likely that the abuse has cost you a great deal. You will be dealing with the consequences of the clergy member’s abuse throughout the rest of your life. The physical and emotional pain and suffering that you have experienced (and likely will experience for years to come) warrants compensation.
Though it might seem challenging to think about the amount you are owed in damages, you can consult a church sexual abuse lawyer to find out more about the payment you could demand in a lawsuit. The damages you are facing are very real, and you deserve justice for what you’ve been through.
Understanding the Process When Working with Clergy Abuse Lawyers
Once you’ve decided to move forward with a legal claim against clergy members or a church, you should contact a clergy sexual abuse attorney to begin the process of filing a claim. The attorney will work with you to determine who should be held responsible and how much you are owed in compensation. Your lawyer will investigate the abuse and build a case that accurately depicts your experiences.
After your lawyer has gathered the evidence needed to move forward, they will file all necessary documents and demand justice from the responsible parties. Ultimately, our goal is to act on your behalf to ensure that your goals are accomplished. We will work tirelessly to pursue compensation, whether through settlement or through our courts.
Steven H. Heisler has a reputation for being a fierce legal representative and a very accessible, responsive attorney for his clients. Our team will answer all your questions and keep you updated on the progress throughout every step of the process. We know how important your case is for you and your loved ones, and we make sure we stay in close communication with our clients.
If you’d like to speak to Steven H. Heisler about this process, we encourage you to contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation. We will help you explore your legal options, and we will not pressure you to move forward with legal action unless you feel comfortable doing so.
A Tragic History of Predators Within the Church
A 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report sent shock waves throughout the U.S., highlighting seven decades of abuse by 300 clergy members against more than 1,000 victims. The report showed that the Catholic Church had not just a lack of accountability, but an inclination to cover up and dismiss reports of sexual abuse committed by their clergy members.
Maryland residents weren’t strangers to these claims. Just two years before the report, a popular Netflix docuseries, The Keepers, detailed sexual abuse allegations at Archbishop Keough High School in the 1960s and 1970s. This shocking chapter of our state’s history showed glimpses of how the church handled allegations against their priests. The stories echoed The Boston Globe’s reporting from 2002, which resulted in the prosecution of five Catholic priests.
The history of abuse and ensuring cover-ups involving the Catholic church goes back much further than these exposés. It is truly shocking that, despite public awareness of the issue, so little has been done by the Church and state governments to hold those responsible accountable for the acts they’ve committed against innocent children.
While the fight continues against perpetrators of sexual abuse, survivors are entitled to have their voices heard and to take legal action against the individuals and institutions that have wronged them. Priest abuse lawyers represent clients who have been sexually abused and seek justice. Without survivors of abuse coming forward about their experiences to hold the responsible parties accountable, we would know very little about the atrocities committed by members of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy.
Holding Institutions Accountable
Clearly, individual clergy members have done terrible things to the children and families that placed their trust in them. But the efforts by high-ranking members of churches have gone to great lengths to silence survivors of abuse and cover up the crimes that clergy members have committed.
In many cases, allegations of abuse against clergy result in no disciplinary actions. Often, a clergy member is simply assigned to a different role in a different location. Complaints by sexual abuse survivors are suppressed and ignored. This implicitly encourages further abuse. It also means that it’s not only the individual perpetrators of sexual abuse who are responsible for the suffering of survivors, but also the institutions that have enabled them.
Legal action is often taken against both the individual clergy member that committed the abuse and the organization or organizations that should have stopped it. If you’ve been abused, you won’t need to worry about gathering evidence and proving the liability of an institution. Your clergy sexual abuse attorney will do this on your behalf.
There are many legal considerations your attorney will make when exploring the accountability of a church. For example, the existence of a “special relationship” between a diocese and its parishioners could be alleged by a survivor of abuse. With special relationships – like the one between a church and parishioners – there is a fiduciary responsibility by the church that has been breached. If a church has been fraudulent in suppressing and covering up abuse, your attorney might explore that fraud as part of your case.
In other words, there are several legal paths your attorney might consider taking after reviewing your case and considering your options. It’s best to contact an experienced lawyer who knows how to hold institutions accountable.
Contact a Maryland Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer Today
Survivors of sexual abuse deserve justice. Children and their parents have placed their trust in clergy members and that trust was breached in the most egregious way imaginable. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse by a clergy member, you have every right to pursue accountability and compensation from the at-fault parties.
Steven H. Heisler has a reputation for the aggressive legal representation he provides his clients. When you take legal action against an organization known for suppressing allegations of sexual abuse, you need an advocate who isn’t afraid to stand up against powerful institutions. Steve has never backed down from a fight, and he will make sure your case is given his firm’s full resources.
We offer free consultations, and we will never pressure you to move forward with a lawsuit if you don’t wish to do so. Let us hear your story and help you find the best path forward. Contact Steven H. Heisler by calling (410) 625-4878 or filling out our online contact form to get started.
Attorney Steve Heisler
Steve Heisler decided in 1996 that he was going to focus his law practice exclusively on injury cases. Since then, he has been representing injured people against insurance companies, disreputable medical practitioners and Big Pharma, and doing it with compassion, honesty and level-headed rationality. [ Attorney Bio ]