Religious Clergy Sex Abuse Claims

Helping survivors bring accountability to abusers

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Alert: The State of Maine has changed the statute of limitations for those born before August 11, 1970, who were sexually abused as children, allowing them to pursue civil claims against their abuser. You can now pursue a child sex abuse claim in Maine no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

Experienced Religious Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New England and Beyond

Were you or a loved one abused by religious clergy? Consult with our experienced clergy sex abuse attorneys throughout Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New England, and beyond to get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Members of religious congregations look up to clergy leaders for care, guidance, and consolation. But some members of the clergy can violate that trust by subjecting some of their congregants to sexual assault. Clergy sexual abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Rape
  • Oral sex
  • Masturbation
  • Sexualized verbal comments
  • Pressure for sexual intercourse or involvement
  • Unwanted touches and advances
  • Fondling
  • Promises of salvation or penitence
  • Justification of sexual contact through prayer or “God’s plan”
  • Gifts for reinforcement or normalizing abuse
  • Threats to keep abuse secret

Victims of these types of sexual misconduct are often left with mental, emotional, and physical scars that can last a lifetime. If you or your loved ones are a survivor of sexual abuse by clergy, you are not alone.

At Berman & Simmons Trial Attorneys, we can help you fight for your rights. Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers are familiar with patterns of abuse and its concealment within religious institutions and can help you file a lawsuit. We’ll defend you aggressively, ensuring you not only get maximum compensation but also accountability from the religious institutions.

We Can Help You File Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Berman & Simmons has recently filed the most sex abuse lawsuits in Northern New England, in addition to other lawsuits around the country.  We also frequently team-up with firms across America to sue abusers.  We are currently filing lawsuits and negotiating claims against:

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA)

The Catholic Church

If you survived “Catholic” child sexual abuse in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, or Northern New England, and got a letter from Sister Rita-Mae, you should contact Berman & Simmons.

Over 6,000 Catholic clergy members have been accused of sexual abuse in the United States. Most of these accusations of abuse date back decades and are often committed by priests. But monsignors, bishops, brothers, and nuns can also be perpetrators of abuse.

As a victim of priest sexual abuse, it can be challenging to get justice. Many diocesan leaders move accused priests to different parishes, making it hard for you to pursue your claim. What’s more, you may feel alone, confused, ashamed, and afraid of coming forward. You are not alone.

Our Catholic Church sex abuse lawyer will take the time to listen to the details of your abuse and determine the best course of action to take. We can help you file a lawsuit against the priest or dioceses and bishops that tried to cover up the crime. When you hire us, we’ll keep your identity confidential until you are ready to move forward, and may be able to keep your claim confidential until your claim or lawsuit ends.

Do you have evidence materials to share?

Child sexual abuse occurs across religions and denominations. Children and families trust the religious leaders in their community, but some members of the clergy violate that trust by sexually assaulting innocent church members. The Catholic Church receives hundreds of accusations of abuse by clergy every year, with minimal response from the Vatican.  Victims of Priest sexual misconduct are often left with mental, emotional, and physical scars that can last a lifetime.

The lawyers of Berman & Simmons are fighting on behalf of Priest sex abuse survivors who cannot win alone to bring them peace and justice.

If you experienced Priest sex abuse, witnessed it, or would like to help sex abuse survivors hold the church accountable for their egregious wrongdoings, please consider helping us gather evidence materials to use in our litigation. Here are some examples of materials we need:

  • Catholic Youth Organization annuals/yearbooks (any year)
  • Confirmation, Catechetics, CCD, or other religious educational materials, flyers, pamphlets, etc.
  • Parish/church photographs, histories, records, etc.
  • Communications from the Diocese/parishes

To share religious evidence materials, please call 207-407-9465 or submit the evidence materials form. Your information will be held in strict confidence.

Clergy of Other Religious Groups

Just like the Catholic Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and SDA, recent investigations have started to reveal cases of sexual abuse within other religious organizations like:

  • Mormon Church
  • Orthodox Judaism/Yeshivas
  • Eastern and New Age religious organizations
  • Methodists
  • Fundamentalist, Evangelical and/or Pentecostal churches
  • And more

Clergy members in these organizations often use their position of power and trust to groom and coerce their victims. While it’s common to groom younger kids and teens, vulnerable adults are also at risk.

We understand that you can face harsh criticisms from members of your religious community by reporting abuse perpetrators. This is why our lawyers offer you and your family optimal support. Whether you were abused recently, or decades ago, it is time to hold sexually abusive religious leaders accountable.

What Our Expert Clergy Abuse Attorneys Can Do for You

Investigating Your Clergy Sexual Abuse Claim

When you want to pursue a case against an abusive clergy member, you first need to talk to our legal team. We’ll review your case to determine if we can pursue a claim on your behalf against the religious leader or institution.

Our church sex abuse lawyers will also review the laws regarding the statute of limitations in your state to see if we can take the case forward.

Filing a Police Report

Sexual assault is a criminal charge and you may need or want to file a report with the police. The police can ask for your personal information as well as the name and address of the suspect. This process can be nerve-wracking as you’ll have to recount the instances of abuse. Our lawyers will be by your side every step of the way, offering support.

Filing an Order of Protection

We can help you file an order of protection against the clergy member and anyone that may pose a threat to you.

File a Lawsuit

Pursuing a lawsuit against an abusive clergy member can be challenging for survivors and victims. Hiring our experienced sexual abuse legal team makes the process a little easier. Whether you want to file a criminal or civil lawsuit, we’ll build your case and help you win.

Obtain Sexual Abuse Settlement

As a survivor of abuse, you have the right to hold the responsible church accountable for misconduct of clergy members . Stepping forward with a claim not only exposes their abusive and vulgar practices but also ensures you recover financial compensation for the damages you incurred as a result of their abuse. You may get compensation for:

  • Medical and mental health treatment expenses
  • Emotional and psychological anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inability to enjoy life
  • Future medical costs

How Our Process Works

Step 1: Get in Touch with Our Law Firm

To get started, contact our law firm to learn your rights and get a free case review.

Step 2: Consultation

After the review, our legal team will walk you through your case and collect all the right information to win your case.

Step 3: Get to Work

Our clergy sex abuse survivor lawyers will handle every step of your case from start to finish. We’ll ensure you get the justice you deserve.

Why Choose Us for Your Clergy Sexual Abuse Case?

At Berman & Simmons Trial Attorneys, we’re committed to forming the best team to represent you. Our select clergy sexual abuse lawyers and staff received trauma-informed training because we want to help survivors of abuse as much as possible. With patience, empathy, and respect, we listen to you so we can understand your experience and customize legal counsel and support to fit your best interests. We work for you. We will help you achieve your goals.

Learn More

Hire Our Qualified Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys in Maine

If you’ve been sexually abused by clergy and need expert legal counsel, turn to Berman & Simmons.  Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers will help you get maximum compensation and bring accountability to institutional abuse.

If you suffered sexual abuse as a child and are ready to speak with one of our Maine child sexual abuse attorneys and learn more about your rights, please contact us to arrange a free, confidential initial consultation.

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FAQs

  • What do I prepare for the first call or meeting with you?

    For your first meeting with us, simply tell us your story and explain in your own words what happened and how your life has been affected. If you’re meeting with us in person, you can bring notes about what happened to you, driver insurance information, names of any witnesses, photos of the accident damages or injuries, medical records, and other related paperwork if you have it and if it’s applicable, but that information isn’t necessary. Really all you need to do is be yourself, speak with us honestly, and be willing to tackle your problems with us.

    Initial conversations between potential clients and our staff members are often done over the phone. Rest assured that everything we discuss is confidential and protected under law.

  • How much will a lawyer cost me?

    The lawyers at Berman & Simmons work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing up front and nothing unless we settle or win your case. We will consult with you, evaluate your situation, and do initial research free of charge. This is true even if we decide you don’t have a valid claim. We will also cover all necessary case expenses and you will not be obligated to reimburse us until and unless we recover monies on your behalf. if we do take your case and win a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor, a percentage of the compensation goes to pay for our costs and the work done by our legal team.

  • How will I know if I have a case?

    To pursue a case, we will need to prove that you suffered a substantial personal injury and the injury was directly caused by the negligence of another party. A bad result alone is not enough to establish negligence. We let you know upfront if we are able to move forward with the legal process, or if we don’t think you have a case. Generally, we will know if you have a case after our first phone call or meeting.

    If we believe you have a valid claim and decide to move forward with litigation, our attorneys and staff will then take it from there and do everything else that needs to be done, including obtaining and reviewing records relevant to your case, such as accident reports and other law enforcement documents, employer records, medical records, and other information.

  • How long will it take to resolve my case?

    Every case is different, and there is no way to predict how long it will take for your case to be resolved. Some cases end in a matter of months, while the most complex and challenging cases, such as a medical malpractice case, can span several years. The vast majority of cases, however, are resolved before a trial and usually within a year.

    The goal is to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, no matter how long it takes whether that comes in the form of a pre-trial settlement, or with a jury verdict in your favor.

  • How much is my case worth?

    There are many factors that need to be considered when determining the value of your case. Every case is unique and it takes a team effort — including your attorney, staff researchers, and outside experts — to determine the extent of your damages and how much your case is worth. There are two types of damages for which you could receive
    compensation: Economic and non-economic.

    If your case goes to trial and a jury agrees you deserve compensation, the jury members will decide how much the money you should receive for each category of damages.

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