A team of Berman & Simmons attorneys led by attorney Michael Bigos is representing three survivors of childhood sexual abuse by four different Catholic clergy and one lay educator/confirmation officer. They have recently filed civil complaints against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland seeking damages, which are believed to be the first civil suits to be filed since the Maine State Legislature lifted the statute of limitations for such claims nearly one year ago.
Each case outlines the abuse of power by priests against minors in Biddeford, Westbrook, and Old Town. The assaults that form the basis for the complaints occurred in a variety of venues in Maine, including at churches, over decades, stemming from 1961 to the 2000s. The suits also demonstrate that the Maine diocese knew about rampant sexual abuse by its priests for decades and chose to not stop it.
Until Governor Janet Mills signed the law to lift the statute of limitations on June 21, 2021 these survivors had no legal path to hold the church and clergy accountable or to seek justice. The cases are filed in York, Cumberland, and Penobscot County Superior Courts. Attorney Bigos spoke about the need for accountability of the diocese, and justice for the survivors.
Read more about the story here: 3 men sue Maine Catholic bishop over alleged sex abuse decades ago following law change