Clergy sexual abuse within the Diocese of Orange can have numerous severe and long-lasting consequences for victims. In Orange County churches, many priests and other members of the clergy have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Most of these cases involve children. At The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, we stand up for survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Orange County, California. Our attorneys can help if you or a loved one has suffered sexual abuse by a member of the clergy. Contact us today for a trustworthy and free consultation at (949) 557-5800. Our Orange County clergy sexual abuse lawyers are here to help.
What Is Clergy Sexual Abuse?
Clergy sexual abuse refers to sex crimes that occur within a religious setting. In faith communities and ministries, sexual misconduct can involve religious leaders, priests, pastors, bishops, youth group leaders, volunteers, church camp staff, and others. In many cases, clergy sexual abuse targets young children. Children involved in the church are taught to trust religious leaders, and parents often feel comfortable leaving their kids alone with members of the clergy.
Unfortunately, sexual predators can take advantage of their positions of power within a church to commit terrible sex crimes such as child molestation, fondling, touching of the private parts, child pornography, penetration, sodomy, and rape. Members of the clergy may also masturbate or expose their sexual organs in front of young children. Clergy sexual abuse can have wide-ranging effects on a victim, including emotional distress, mental health issues, depression, low self-esteem, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, lost quality of life, and self-harm.
Clergy Members With Allegations Against Them in the Diocese of Orange
In California, 607 priests have been accused of sexual abuse as of the latest information available. This is more than in any other state in the country. The list of accused priests in the Diocese of Orange includes, but is not limited to, the following individuals:
- Alexander Manville
- Andrew Christian Andersen
- Bertrand W. Horvath
- Cesar Salazar
- Dominic Nguyen
- Edgardo Arrunataegui Jimenez
- Franklin Buckman
- Gordon John Pillon
- Gregory Atherton
- John (Jon) E. Ruhl
- John A. Sheahan
- John Peter Lenihan
- Lawrence J. Baird
- Luis Eduardo Ramirez
- Richard Delahunty
- Robert Foley
- Timothy Ramaekers
There are also several priests in the Diocese of Orange who are now deceased that have been accused of sex crimes. If you or a loved one was sexually abused or assaulted by anyone in the clergy in Orange County, consult with a clergy sexual abuse attorney at The Senators Firm for legal advice.
Compensation Available for Victims of Orange County Clergy Sexual Abuse
In addition to holding someone accountable for clergy sexual abuse and bringing a measure of justice to a victim, a civil lawsuit could grant a survivor and the survivor’s family financial compensation for related losses. This may include:
- Economic damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, counseling or therapy, travel or relocation expenses, out-of-pocket costs, legal fees, and court costs.
- Noneconomic damages, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, psychological trauma, depression, lost enjoyment of life, and anxiety.
- Punitive damages, which can be awarded to punish a defendant when it is proven that the defendant has been guilty of malice, oppression or fraud.
The Diocese of Orange is one of five other California Dioceses that participated in the Independent Compensation Program to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse. This program offers an alternative to survivors who do not wish to pursue claims in court.
Call (949) 557-5800 for a Free and Confidential Case Review in Orange County
If you or someone you love is a victim of clergy sexual abuse in Orange County, speak to a clergy sexual abuse attorney at The Senators Firm about your legal rights and options. Clergy sexual abuse is a heinous crime that can be even more damaging since it is connected to a victim’s church and faith. Our lawyers understand the long, emotional journey you are on as a survivor. We are here to help you in any way that we can with high-quality legal services.
We will stand by you in the fight for justice against an abusive clergy member and the Diocese of Orange for failing to protect you. Contact us today for a free and confidential case consultation with a compassionate attorney. Call (949) 557-5800.