A bombshell report recently revealed to the people of Maryland that the Baltimore Catholic Archdiocese had intentionally covered up more than 600 incidents of child sexual abuse carried out by members of the church across several decades. The revelation acted as the last straw for legislators who had already been working on and backing the Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023. Within the same day as the reveal of the nearly-500-page report, the Maryland Senate voted to pass the Act. It was then signed into law by Governor Moore only days later.
Decades of Abuse & Coverups
In the report, more than 150 clergy members and other Baltimore Catholic Archdiocese officials are implicated or accused of sexually abusing children or had already admitted to their sex crimes. One such deacon admitted to sexually abusing more than 100 children at multiple parishes and boys’ schools. Other reports detail sexual abuse that occurred in the 1940s.
While it is already frustrating enough for people to learn that so many child sexual assaults occurred, it is further infuriating to learn that the Baltimore Archdiocese intentionally tried to hide those attacks and reports. Investigators found that the church used various tactics to silence people who spoke up and otherwise obscure their reports of sexual abuse.
For example, in one case, an Archbishop used the Baltimore Circuit Court in 1958 to secretly resolve accusations of sexual abuse against Father Tragesser. In another case, Father John Joseph Mike was able to use a plea deal to admit to child abuse but not child sexual abuse in 1987. Yet another upsetting report detailed how Father Lawrence Brett admitted to sexually abusing a child in the ‘60s, was sent to New Mexico by the church and abused more children there, and then was transferred to Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, where he reportedly sexually abused 20 or more children.
The list of egregious reports of child sexual abuse within the Baltimore Archdiocese continues on and on, and it all points to one conclusion: the Baltimore Archdiocese should be held liable for the harm its members have caused so many children, teenagers, and parents throughout the years. With the Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023, justice might finally be possible.
Legal Action Against the Baltimore Archdiocese
With so many details of many different incidents of child sexual abuse carried out by members of the Baltimore Archdiocese, and the Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023 signed into law, it can only be assumed that lawsuits against the church will begin adding up. The act lifts the previous statute of limitations on child sexual abuse lawsuits filed in Maryland civil courts, which means a claim can be filed by someone who was abused as a child, even if that abuse occurred decades ago. For example, people who were abused by Father Lawrence Brett in the ‘60s or any subsequent decade will gain the option to use their voices in civil court to demand compensatory damages and justice.
At Levy Konigsberg, we have a nationally-recognized and award-winning team of sexual abuse trial attorneys, including Attorney Anna Kull, who has spearheaded newsworthy litigation against powerful entities in multiple states. We are investigating the unfolding controversy surrounding the Baltimore Archdiocese, so we can offer our legal services and support to anyone who was abused as a child and wants to speak up now. Throughout the years, we have secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements and court awards for our sexual abuse clients. Past results cannot guarantee future results, but they do show the strength of our litigation team and the types of powerful defendants we have won against, both in and out of court.
Our trauma-informed team of Levy Konigsberg is here to help however we can without putting you at risk of re-triggering the trauma that the church caused you to endure. Please call (800) 315-3806 or contact us now for a FREE and confidential consultation about a Baltimore Archdiocese sexual abuse lawsuit.