sexual abuse

Boy Scout Victim Files Sexual Abuse Claim After Reviewing Secret Files

An Illinois man recently filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County against his former Boy Scout troopmaster and the Boy Scouts of America alleging that he was sexually abused by Thomas Hacker in 1985 when he was 10 years old.  The plaintiff went online and reviewed the once secret "perversion files" after the Boy Scouts of America were ordered to release the files in an unrelated case from Oregon.  The plaintiff claimed that he "compartmentalized" the memories of abuse, making him unable to file suit until now.  Without such an allegation, a court would likely find that the plaintiff's claim was untimely due to the statute of limitations.  The plaintiff is now married with a family.  The former scoutmaster, Hacker, is serving a 100 year prison sentence for sexual molestation.  The former troopmaster told a psychiatrist that he had sexually abused more than 100 boys.  A state agency concluded that he had sexually molested 34 victims in Illinois.  While it is expected that this litigation may take time to resolve, other claims involving Hacker settled for substantial sums of money.

Boy Scout Victims Sue Over Sexual Abuse

Four Oregon men who claim that they were sexually abused by their scoutmaster in the 1970s have sued the Boy Scouts of America. The victims filed their lawsuits in Portland, and allege the national organization is guilty of negligence and fraud in that the Boy Scouts knew that the scoutmaster, Steven Terry Hill, was accused of molesting three other boys, yet placed him in charge oftheir troop. Hill was convicted od sodomy in an unrelated case in 1991 in a sexual abuse case involving a 17 year old boy. Last year, the Boy Scouts was rocked by a $20 million jury verdict from a sexual assault case in the 1980s. This case has strong parallels to the sex abuse scandals involving various archdiocese across the country.

Chicago Archdiocese Settles Another Sexual Abuse Claim Involving Father Fitzharris

On Monday, August 29, 2011, the attorneys of another sexual abuse victim of Father Joseph Fitzharris announced that they had reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding the claim. The victim, who attended St. Francis Xavier Church in Avondale, claimed that he had been sexually abused by the priest In the 1980s. As part of the settlement with this victim and others, the Archdiocese has agreed to release information concerning 35 priests who have been accused of clergy misconduct. This office has handled numerous cases against Father Fitzharris and other priests involving claims of clergy misconduct.

Five Former Altar Boys Settle Sexual Abuse Claims With Trenton Archdiocese

Five former altar boys who claim that a priest sexually abused them in the 1970s and 1980s have reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Trenton, New Jersey for $1 million.  The Archdiocese of Trenton announced that the Plaintiffs' allegations of sexual abuse were credible.  The victims claimed that they were sexually assaulted between the ages of 11 to 16 by the priest.  One of the victims claimed that he was sexually assaulted 150 times.  Another one of the victims says he does not consider himself Catholic anymore.  When the first complaint came forward about the sexual abuse, the church removed the priest from ministry, according to the Archdiocese.  In 2002, the priest was defrocked.  The Archdiocese declined to issue an apology for what the priest allegedly did.  The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander has handled a number of sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Chicago, including Father Joseph Fitzharris.

Two New Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Filed Against Chicago Archdiocese

This past Tuesday, two women filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Chicago, alleging that they were sexually assaulted by a priest at St. Peter Damian Catholic Church in Bartlett, Illinois. Both women, who are in their 60s, claimed that they repressed memories of the sexual abuse. The women claim that they were sexually assaulted by Reverend Thomas Barry Horne starting when they were very young girls. According to the plaintiffs' attorney, the Archdiocese refused to offer any financial compensation.

Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Diocese Appeal of $5 Million Jury Verdict

On June 1, 2011, the state high court refused to hear an appeal of a $5 milliion jury verdict involving sexual abuse by a priest. in 2008, a St. Clair County jury awarded the sum to James Wisniewski after testimony established that he was sexually abused by a former priest, Raymond Kownacki. According to testimony at the trial, Wisniewski was sexually assualted when he was a 13 year old altar boy at St. Theresa's parish in Salem. The Diocese of Belleville had previously settled another sexual abuse case involving Kownacki for $1.2 million. Two other sexual abuse cases naming Kownacki are pending in St. Clair County Court. At trial, Wisniewski's lawyers introduced into evidence letters and documents that church officials knew that Kownacki had sexually assaulted minors but failed to call law enforcement and then repeatedly transferred the priest.

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