Are You a Survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse in California?
We Are Here to Help You Fight for Justice.
The bombshell report on Sex Abuse by the Catholic Church which appeared in the Boston Globe in 2002 led to countless reports of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church by clergy, teachers, and others.
A John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York found nearly 11,000 accusations of abuse that had been committed between 1950 and 2002. A United States Conference of Bishops report found 6,700 accusations of abuse against more than 4,300 individual clergymen. It was found to be so widespread that it impacted 95% of Catholic dioceses in the U.S. and 60% of religious communities.
In California, several laws, including AB 218, were passed which marked a major victory for survivors. AB 218 raised the age limit for survivors of abuse to bring legal action against their clergy or other church-affiliated abusers. For people who have been abused in childhood, this update to the law adds extra time onto the window of time for victims to seek justice.
The Clergy Abuse Attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates routinely work with survivors of sexual abuse by clergy members, helping them stand up for their rights and obtain some measure of justice. As legal advocates for people who have suffered at the hands of religious institutions, Mary Alexander and her team of top-notch attorneys have obtained amazing results time and time again.
If you or a loved one was a victim, we are here for you and ready to listen.
Allegations of CA Clergy Abuse
The abuse suffered by far too many individuals in California is disgusting, depressing, and unimaginable. Young people, often young males, were targeted and violated in several ways, including:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Violent sexual assault
- Being asked to perform sexual acts
- Child pornography
- Inappropriate touching
- Forced masturbation
- Forced sex (oral, anal, vaginal)
- Inappropriate/lewd sexual comments
If you or a loved one was the victim of abuse by any member of the Catholic Church, the Mary Alexander & Associates team is here to help you get the justice you deserve.
“Vulnerability knows no age limit and we are susceptible to positions of power and authority.”
– Sacramento Clergy Abuse Survivor
California Clergy Abuse Goes Back Decades
When the Boston Globe first published its story, it led to a wave of news outlets covering the issue of how deep the abuse and coverup went. The Associated Press, Legal Examiner, ABC, NBC, and many others reported on hundreds of people whose abuse went back all the way to the 1950’s.
This led to the passage of AB 218, which is a three year “look back” window for civil claims. However, that window is beginning to close. As of December 31, 2022 AB 218 will fade away. The tumult created by this new law has created a series of challenges for the Catholic Church in California, including bankruptcies and monetary settlements.
Since 2002, more than 1,000 clergy sexual abuse survivors filed lawsuits against various Catholic Church diocese in California. This includes the Archdiocese Of San Francisco, Diocese of Oakland, Diocese of San Jose, Diocese of Santa Rosa, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Diocese of Fresno, Diocese of Orange, Diocese of Sacramento, Diocese of San Bernardino, and Diocese of San Diego.
Mary Alexander & Associates has long been an advocate of abuse survivors, and has worked with those who were brave enough to come forward and fight for their rights.
Institutionalized Sexual Abuse
Child predators are often enabled by the institutions that give them access to their victims. The Catholic Church is no different. From the late 1940’s through the present day, the Church has systematically hidden or buried reports of sexual abuse, including admissions of abuse, in “secret archives.”
Priests and Church leaders used euphemisms like “horseplay” to describe some of the abusive conduct. They conspired to conceal and failed to report instances of abuse to the relevant law enforcement authorities. The Catholic Church’s failures to properly investigate allegations of sexual abuse and its decisions to “re-assign” priests accused of sexual misconduct from one parish to another perpetuated a culture of abuse and empowered “predator priests” and members of religious orders to become serial abusers.
It is clear from the Grand Jury’s report that many children could’ve been spared from the horrific abuse they endured if Church officials had simply spoken up.
Shepherds Preyed On Their Flock
The hundreds upon hundreds of people who suffered abuse at the hands of priests and other clergy radically altered the landscape for everyone.
In Orange, the Diocese there paid a $100 million settlement to roughly 90 abuse survivors. In 2007, the Los Angeles Archdiocese paid roughly $600 million in settlements to 508 abuse survivors. In 2019, Los Angeles again paid $8 million to a single abuse survivor. Many diocese, including Los Angeles, created a victim compensation program. Those who came forward changed their own lives, as well as the lives of those who were too scared or ashamed to come forward.
Now, you can tell your own story and let those guilty of sexual misconduct know they no longer own your story.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
A “Champion of Justice” For Survivors of Abuse by Priests and Clergy
Mary Alexander’s work for her clients has been applauded by peer organizations, newspapers and more. She works with all kinds of people who have suffered abuse or injury, holding those guilty accountable for their behavior.
She boasts several significant verdicts and settlements and is recognized as one of the top attorneys in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Stockton, Santa Rosa and beyond. Her clients regularly applaud her for the way she and her firm care for those who were victimized by those they thought they could trust.
It Happened Everywhere
“Children were raped in places of worship, in schools, and in diocesan owned vehicles, and were groomed through diocesan programs and retreats. The bishops weren’t just aware of what was going on; they were immersed in it. And they went to great lengths to keep it secret. The secrecy helped spread the disease.”
Complaints Were Ignored
“It was hard enough for victims to come forward; but when they did, the complaints were often forgotten about, misplaced, shrugged off, or immediately discounted. The church’s response not only depressed the number of “confirmed” complaints, but discouraged additional victims from reporting, knowing they might be rebuffed or ridiculed.”
Law Enforcement Gave Deference
“There were numerous instances where law enforcement gave deference to the religious institution. Whatever the motives for that deference, it left children without their rightful civic watchdogs.”
Predator Priests Paid Off
“Known offenders were still secretly provided financial support. “Retired” child abusers were permitted to live in church-run facilities located near schools. Dioceses resisted calls to release abusers’ names, while heralding their compliance with new mandated reporter laws. And most striking to us were cases in which the dioceses obtained child abuse “clearances” for employees who had no criminal record – because the bishop had never reported prior incidents of abuse.”
The Coverup and the Crime
Grand jury reports, media investigations and government analysis has laid bare the systematic process or “playbook” used by many dioceses throughout California to hide and cover up the horrific acts perpetrated and perpetuated by Church officials.
The trial lawyers at Mary Alexander & Associates have a proven track record of taking on some of the nation’s largest and most powerful companies and organizations. From obtaining a $1.15 billion bench verdict in a complex mass tort to several seven and eight-figure verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured and abused people, our firm is the “go to” law firm for California clergy abuse cases.
We represent sexual assault victims in complex, high-profile and national cases involving some of the largest and most powerful institutions in the world. Our team of award-winning trial lawyers knows how to investigate institutional cover-ups and we do everything possible to hold those responsible – both the perpetrators and those who enabled them – accountable for their actions.
A Track Record of Advocacy
Mary Alexander & Associates has been successfully fighting for its clients for years. Our attorneys have handled various child sexual abuse cases, winning millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients. These include a $13 million judgment for a child molested by a sports coach, a $2.5 million settlement for a teenager abused by a schoolteacher, and a $1.1 million settlement for an elementary school child abused by a clergy member.
OUR AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
For the past 30 years, firm founder and principal attorney Mary E. Alexander has worked tirelessly both personally and professionally to ensure that injured individuals get the answers and justice they seek. With a keen eye on changes to the law and a relentless dedication to providing the best client service we can, Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C., has helped countless people. Mary Alexander has built a reputation based on ethics, dedication and commitment. Over the course of her career, she has been repeatedly recognized by both her peers and the press.
Why Choose Mary Alexander & Associates?
At Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C., we dedicate our entire practice to helping clients who have been seriously injured in accidents that occurred because of another party’s negligence. From our offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles, we represent clients in Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo, San Fernando Valley, Inland Empire, Orange County and the surrounding areas. Our dedicated focus on motor vehicle accidents, catastrophic injury, nursing home abuse, injuries to children and other personal injury claims allows us to effectively guide our clients through these often complex processes.
Our firm focuses exclusively on sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, personal injury cases and related matters. With more than 30 years of experience, our trial lawyers have the knowledge and trial skills to take on even the most complex cases.
About our attorneys
Our Bay Area personal injury attorneys utilize their years of experience, academic accomplishment and passion for helping injured clients when building strong cases. They have been recognized by their peers and have held leadership positions in professional organizations. Their perseverance and dedication to clients has resulted in a remarkable record of accomplishment that includes many multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. View all our recent results here.