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Two Priests Have Been Accused of Child Abuse: They are Still Active in East Bay

Two Priests Have Been Accused of Child Abuse They are Still Active in East BayNormally, employees are suspended when they are being investigated for serious crimes such as sexual abuse. The logic is simple: The employer wants to put as much distance between them and the employee until the allegations are clarified. If the allegations prove to be false, the employee can return to work. But if the allegations are true, the employer will have taken immediate, decisive action just to be on the safe side. Perhaps most critically, this early action ensures that the alleged wrongdoer does not commit more offenses under the employer’s watch.

It seems as though this obvious strategy does not apply to the Catholic church in California. Even if the Catholic Church recognizes the logic of this approach, it appears not to have taken any action in some situations. On June 30, it was reported that two priests in the East Bay area had been actively serving Catholic parishes despite being the focus of serious child abuse allegations. Instead of being suspended while the truth of these allegations is ascertained, these priests have the freedom to interact with their community, including potential new victims.

If you have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a priest or a community leader that you trusted, you might consider taking legal action. You can do so by getting in touch with Mary Alexander & Associates. It may be difficult to stand up and be heard, but you are not alone in this battle. Taking legal action may provide you with not only compensation but also a sense of justice and closure.

Diocese of Oakland Strives to Seal Names of Accused Clergy During Bankruptcy Filing

A recent bankruptcy case affecting the Diocese of Oakland has inadvertently revealed shocking information about potential sexual predators continuing to serve their parishes in the East Bay area. During a call with bankruptcy creditors, the Diocese let it slip that at least two accused priests are still in ministry. One is the current pastor of Santa Maria parish in Orinda, the same priest who allegedly sexually abused a teenage altar boy back in the 1970s.

One former Oakland priest who was on the bankruptcy call seemed to defend this priest, saying that he was disappointed to learn about the allegations and that he had “no negative opinion of him.” However, this priest also stressed his belief that accused priests should be taken off active duty while their lawsuits play out in court. It’s a common belief that is echoed not only through the Catholic Church but also throughout the entire community.

In an official statement, this priest explained:

“I categorically deny any allegations of abuse. I have never abused anyone in any way at any time. I have never been involved in any disciplinary action, criminal case, or civil matter and have never been accused of assault or any such wrongdoing in my lifetime. I am deeply saddened and distressed by this maligning of my name and reputation.”

 It is impossible to know whether this priest is telling the truth until the lawsuit is fully resolved. However, it is difficult to take any of these denials seriously after the many hundreds of lawsuits that drove the Diocese of Oakland into bankruptcy in the first place. To be exact, it was only after 350 lawsuits that the diocese was finally forced to declare bankruptcy in May.

This bankruptcy has become somewhat controversial as attorneys representing the Diocese scramble to seal the names of all clergy members accused of sexual abuse. Since bankruptcy filings are public, new information could be released as a result of this legal process. The attorneys argue that sealing the names is necessary to protect them against harassment and reputational loss. However, these efforts have come too late to prevent hundreds of names of accused priests from making their way into the public light. Many have been accused for the first time, further highlighting the widespread nature of clergy abuse in Oakland.

My Abuse Occurred Many Years Ago: Can I Still Sue?

Those who suffered clergy abuse many years ago can still potentially file lawsuits against the Catholic Church. This is thanks to the Child Victims Act of 2019, which allows victims to file lawsuits even if the statute of limitations would have otherwise prevented them from doing so. However, the three-year sexual abuse “lookback window” has already closed, and it spanned from 2020 to around 2022.

That being said, victims can still sue under certain circumstances, even if they are adult victims seeking justice for incidents that occurred during their childhoods. Even though the lookback window has closed, new efforts by legislators in California may open the window once again or eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse entirely. It is worth getting in touch with a qualified attorney to discuss your legal options, as this is the only real way to figure out whether you can sue.

What if My Abuser Was Not a Clergy Member?

 You may also sue if you experienced sexual abuse outside of the Catholic Church. Lawsuits can stem from abuse committed by camp counselors, teachers, coaches, and other religious leaders.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Sexual Abuse Lawyer in California?

If you have been searching for an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have assisted numerous plaintiffs who have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of priests, teachers, and other community leaders. These defendants abused their position of trust and power, and they must be held accountable.

Perhaps more importantly, the organizations behind these abusers must be forced to transform their checks and balances, ensuring that this does not happen ever again. Sexual abuse lawsuits can send a powerful message, so stand up and be heard today. We are ready to guide you through every step, and you can begin your journey toward justice by booking a consultation today.

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