Chicago Victims of Priest Molestation Need a Compassionate Lawyer
All types of sexual molestation and abuse is traumatic and horrifying, but especially when the perpetrator is someone you trust — like a priest, clergyman, or other religious figure. To make matters worse, religious institutions often choose to conceal incidents of sexual abuse rather than admitting there is a problem.
Of course, we are well past the point of knowing that a problem exists today. Allegations took the media by storm in the 2000s, and it is a trend that has continued to this day. Sadly, sexual abuse continues to run rampant in not only the Catholic church, but Baptist, Episcopalian, Mormon, and Jewish organizations as well.
Whether you have been the victim of abuse at the hands of a priest, pastor, minister, rabbi, or other religious worker, you are not alone and you are not without options. You have the legal right to stand up to abusive clergy members, and Sami Azhari can help by offering both the compassion and the legal acumen you need to hold the responsible parties accountable and get the justice you deserve.
Because such cases can be sensitive and proving liability can be difficult — particularly if the incident occurred years ago — it is essential to seek counsel from a Chicago lawyer who has experience handling sexual abuse cases.
What Constitutes Sexual Abuse in Illinois?
In our state, sexual abuse is a broad term that describes any instance when an individual suffers unwanted sexual activity. This could encompass a wide variety of behaviors, including:
- Criminal Sexual Assault
- Criminal Sexual Abuse
- Statutory rape
- Indecent exposure
- Sexual harassment
- Non-consensual touching
As you can see, sexual abuse at the hands of a clergyman can encompass a wide variety of behaviors. Whatever type of abuse you or your loved one has suffered, you have a right to stand up for your rights. By doing so, you are not only seeking justice for yourself, but preventing such terrible acts from occurring to others.
Incidents of Catholic Sexual Abuse in Chicago and Beyond
It’s heartbreaking and infuriating to know that sexual abuse occurs not only in our own city, but in our places of worship — and at the hands of people we trust. Tragically, such events happen regularly.
You might think that the perpetrator in your case is untouchable, but this is not true. While the fight may be difficult, justice can prevail — and the only way to quell the epidemic is to fight back.
Here are just a few examples of the kind of things you are helping to fight against by seeking justice against your abuser:
The Irish Christian Brothers
Sexual abuse cases from the congregation of Christian brothers have happened all over the world, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the US. In Chicago, Brother Robert Brouillette taught at St. Lawrence High School before he was arrested in a police sting for reportedly soliciting sex from a 12-year-old boy.
The Archdiocese of Chicago
After a thorough investigation of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, investigators discovered that that the number of abusive Illinois clergymen within the archdiocese of Chicago was even higher that what the church initially told the public. In 2014, the organization released the names of 36 Archdiocesan priests accused of misconduct. In 2018, 10 more were added to the list.
Diocese of Joliet
In the Chicago suburb of Joliet, a Catholic diocese priest was found guilty in a lawsuit filed by three victims who were reportedly molested by the clergyman as children. Allegedly, the priest was continuously relocated from one parish to another to protect him against sexual misconduct allegations.
Chicago Roman Catholic Church
Daniel McCormack was a former Roman Catholic priest who was committed indefinitely to a detention facility for sex offenders in Illinois after serving time for a sexual abuse conviction. After an internal investigation by the Archdiocese found nearly 30 substantiated claims of sexual abuse by McCormack, they paid $140 million to settle sex abuse claims, including those against McCormack. Very recently, a settlement of $2.9 million was reached on behalf of a victim of McCormack.
These are only a handful of examples of incidents of clergyman abuse in Chicago. Victims of priests, pastors, rabbis, and other church workers are often ashamed and afraid to come forward, but there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. You did nothing wrong — your abuser did.
A Lawyer Who Understands the Impact of Illinois Clergy Abuse — and How to Help
At Azhari LLC, we know that sexual abuse can have a lifelong impact on victims, their families, and the people they love. Effects of sexual abuse by a clergyman can destroy lives, leading to devastating consequences like depression, self-harm, substance abuse, eating disorders, and even suicide.
As a victim, you have the right to seek compensation for economic damages like medical bills, therapy costs, and loss of income. In addition, you may be able to recover punitive damage to punish the perpetrators, the religious institution that allowed the abuse to continue, and any other party liable for your suffering.
This is not a decision to take lightly. We understand the sheer pain and difficulty involved in such cases. That’s why Mr. Azhari strives to handle every case with the utmost sensitivity, empathy, and confidentiality.
If you or someone you care about has suffered at the hands of a priest or other religious worker, we are here to listen. Call us today for a free, totally confidential, zero-obligation consultation.