Maryland Sexual Abuse in a Religious Organization Lawyer

Pastors, priests, deacons, and other religious leaders are widely revered and trusted by members of their local communities. The authority wielded by these religious figures is considerable, and in the hands of the wrong person, may lead to a flagrant abuse of power. When someone is sexually assaulted or abused by a religious leader, whether that person is an official of the Catholic church, a local clergy, or part of another religious organizations, survivors have the right to speak up and take legal action against their abusers. A Maryland sexual abuse in a religious organization lawyer could provide aggressive legal representation if you or your loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse.

A compassionate sexual abuse attorney could vigilantly protect your legal interests and provide the skilled advocacy you need to pursue a civil claim for compensation against all liable parties involved.

Deadline to File a Sexual Abuse Claim for Financial Damages

Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings § 5-117 establishes the statutory deadline by which sexual abuse claims for financial damages must be filed. The deadline depends on the age of the claimant during the time of the alleged abuse or assault took place. If the individual was over the age of 18 year at the time of the incident, they have up to three years from the date the occurrence to file a civil claim with the state courts.

However, in April 2023, Maryland passed a new law removing the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors called the Child Victims Act. The law also states that a sexual abuse claim can not be filed against a negligent third party, such as a religious organization who concealed the misdeeds of its clergy, if more than 20 years have passed since the claimant’s 18th birthday. If you have been the victim of child sexual abuse, you should consult a Maryland attorney in the face of this new law which has eliminated a prior obstacle of a time deadline for filing a claim.

Obtaining Evidence in a Religious Organization Sexual Abuse Case

A Maryland attorney could conduct a thorough investigation on behalf of the sexual abuse victim to collect all available evidence that could prove the religious organization’s liability for their losses. Proving a religious organization sexual abuse case can be extremely difficult without the assistance of an attorney who has extensive experience defending these types of cases.

Evidence which could be vital to a sexual abuse claim involving a church or other religious organization could include communication between the victim and the accused, photos of the victim’s injuries due to the assault, medical expenses associated with the alleged offense, as well as video footage of the incident. An attorney could also interview any witnesses that may have first-hand knowledge of the abuser’s actions.

Holding Religious Organizations Legally Liable

Besides filing a civil claim against the alleged abuser, the victim may also have a valid cause of action against the religious organization of its negligence or misconduct was a factor in the underlying incident. The claimant’s attorney must show that the organization or another culpable third party owed them a duty and breached that duty. Furthermore, the claimant must prove that this breach was the direct cause of their harm and that they suffered damages such as pain, suffering, mental distress, and medical bills, as a result of the abuse.

Additionally, religious organizations could be found legally responsible for allowing a known abuser to work with children. Other examples of negligence for which a religious organization could be held liable include improper employee vetting procedures, neglecting to respond to allegations of abuse, or attempting to conceal sexual misconduct to preserve its reputation.

Schedule a Consultation with a Maryland Sexual Abuse in a Religious Organization Attorney

A Maryland sexual abuse in a religious organization lawyer understands that no amount of financial compensation can make up for the devastating losses you have suffered as a survivor of abuse. However, with the zealous representation of a seasoned attorney, you could pursue just legal recourse against the party or parties who bear responsibility for what happened.

Call today to set up your case consultation with a Maryland attorney.