FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: LISA DANIELS
MONDAY, JULY 15, 2019 (305) 931-2200
LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST GRACE ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF ARIZONA
Church Leaders Ignored A Pattern of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct, Concealing Priest’s Actions and Allowing Church Youth to Be Subjected to Molestation
Tucson, AZ – Sex abuse victim’s attorney Jeff Herman announced the filing of a new lawsuit against GRACE ST. PAUL’S CHURCH and THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF ARIZONA. The suit alleges church leaders ignored credible reports of sexual misconduct by Father Richard Babcock, instead acting to conceal Father Babcock’s activities by reassigning him to other churches in THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF ARIZONA. The plaintiff, Charles Taylor, was abused in the early 1970s by Father Babcock at GRACE ST. PAUL’S CHURCH in Tucson when he was just twelve years old. The allegations are included in the complaint filed Friday in the Superior Court for Pima County, which can be read in its entirety here.
The molestation by Father Babcock occurred both on church property and inside Babcock’s home — continuing for years, despite Taylor’s attempts to inform church leaders of the ongoing abuse. Father Babcock’s abuse only stopped after Taylor’s mother was informed of the sexual abuse and contacted the Tucson Police Department. Babcock, now deceased, reportedly confessed in a sworn statement to his past acts of sexual assault and abuse perpetrated against minors. Herman Law is attempting to obtain the confession for use in the suit.
The filing of the suit was made possible by the recent passing of H.B. 2466 by the Arizona State Legislature. The legislation extends the statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse and grants a limited two-year filing window for civil actions to be filed by those who did not have the opportunity to do so in the past. Taylor previously filed suit against GRACE CHURCH and THE EPISCOPAL DICOESE but was unable to proceed due to then-existing laws preventing his claims. The new law allows victims to heal and seek justice against the organizations that knew or had notice of the sexual abuse they suffered.
“It is time for justice; now my client can get justice without having to worry about a legal technicality that was unfair to child victims who were vulnerable minors and therefore unable to exercise their rights in time,” said attorney Jeff Herman regarding Taylor’s suit. “Now, we have the opportunity to hold those responsible accountable.” Herman Law represents hundreds of victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy. Following the passing of H.B. 2466, Herman Law is investigating several potential claims by Arizona childhood victims that did not have the chance to assert their legal rights until the legislation passed. Due to local requirements, Herman Law is assisted by Allred Law Office in filing the complaint on behalf of Taylor.
Herman Law is a law firm for victims of sexual abuse across the nation. The firm is led by its founder Jeff Herman, who is recognized as one of the country’s leading attorneys for child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has obtained over $200 million in verdicts and settlements. Jeff has developed a national reputation for his powerful advocacy and unwavering dedication to his clients. Herman Law is committed to empowering victims of sexual abuse to take back their lives and begin the healing process.