Two men are accusing the Catholic Church of knowing that two priests involved with the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte in North Carolina sexually abused them as young children and did nothing to help them or prevent the two priests from continuing the abuse. This is just one of many allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
The two men claim that they were abused as children by priests and had previously sued the Charlotte diocese 10 years ago, Unfortunately their cases were dismissed due to the statute of limitations at the time. In other words too much time had passed to file.
However, in November 2019, legislators enacted a “look back” provision which has allowed the two survivors another opportunity to seek the damages they deserve.
The provision, referred to as the Child Victims Act (CVA), opened a two-year window for child sexual abuse lawsuits to be filed, regardless of the state’s statute of limitations. A number of states around the country, including New York and California, have opened similar windows and enacted different time frames for the CVA.
A list that was released by the Charlotte diocese in December 2019, named 14 clergy members who had been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse while serving the diocese. The two priests named in these two mens lawsuits, Joseph Kelleher and Richard B. Farwell, were both included.
A Georgia man filed one of the lawsuits claiming he abused by Joseph Kelleher over several months in 1977 and 1978. He was 14 at the time and sought counseling from the priest to help cope with a family move.
The other lawsuit which was filed inNorth Carolina by a man who alleges he was sexually abused by Farwell as a minor, serving asa an alter boy from 1981 to 1984. The lawsuit claims that the Church moved Farewell to a different church in order to conceal the abuse but Farwell continued to molest the plaintiff, even after he was sent to live in a children’s home in another town.
These two cases are just some important examples of how child sex abuse survivors most often do not come forward with their abuse until much later in life, as they associate shame and suffering. It can take decades for a victims of childhood sexual abuse to come forward which unfortunately the vast majority of child sex abuse victims cannot prosecute or file civil lawsuits because they missed the statute of limitations deadline.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual abuse, Herman Law may be able to help you achieve justice. Jeff Herman is a trailblazer in the representation of victims of sexual abuse, devoting 100% of his practice to the cause. Renowned for his aggressive and tireless advocacy on behalf of his clients, and his determination to help his clients heal through the litigation process, Jeff understands the unique issues involved in the representation of survivors of rape and sexual abuse.