Maine Sexual Abuse Lawyers
Fighting for Sex Abuse Survivors Across Maine
If you or a loved one were sexually abused in Maine, you may have grounds to pursue a civil lawsuit against your abuser and/or the entity that failed to prevent the abuse.
Maine law entitles sexual abuse survivors to financial compensation for their damages but requires them to prove the fault and liability of named defendants. Unfortunately, many of the powerful institutions named in these cases go to great lengths to defend their reputations and bottom lines, and to fight claims brought by survivors any way they can.
At Levy Konigsberg, we’re known for litigating complex sexual abuse lawsuits across the country and have the firepower to help survivors fight back against institutions that failed to prevent abuse, or willfully worked to cover it up. Led by award-winning trial lawyers, we’ve taken on some of the country’s most powerful entities and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for survivors.
Recent changes to Maine law now allow survivors of child sexual abuse to file claims no matter how long ago their abuse occurred. If you have a potential case, our Maine sexual abuse attorneys can evaluate your eligibility and the next steps in your fight for justice. Call (800) 315-3806 or contact us onlinefor a FREE and confidential consultation.
We Fight for Survivors in All Types of Maine Sex Abuse Cases
At Levy Konigsberg, we have the experience and resources to help survivors in sexual abuse lawsuits involving all types of institutional defendants and circumstances. Examples of the types of sexual abuse cases we handle include:
Sex Abuse Suits Against Maine’s Catholic Dioceses
Years of investigations, record releases, and legal filings – as well as a deluge of claims brought under Maine’s recent legislative amendments to child sex abuse laws – have provided a litany of details about the dark history of sexual abuse within Maine’s Catholic churches.
As these records have shown, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland – Maine’s only Catholic diocese – enabled decades of child sexual abuse by repeatedly failing to investigate complaints against clergy, report abusive priests to authorities, and take sensible actions to reign in systemic abuse within its ranks. In some cases, the evidence shows that church leadership went as far as actively concealing reports of abuse and reassigning priests to different parishes to protect its reputation.
The result is a long list of sexual abuse allegations involving survivors who were abused in Catholic churches, schools, and other church-affiliated programs as far back as the 1940s. In fact, the onslaught of legal claims lodged against the Portland Diocese was so profound that the Catholic Church is now challenging Maine's recently expanded child sexual abuse law in the state’s Supreme Court.
If you were sexually abused by a priest, clergy member, or volunteer from any Catholic church in Maine, you may have a case. Our attorneys can evaluate your potential claim, discuss your rights and options, and keep you apprised of the latest developments involving the Church’s legal challenge.
Learn More: Maine Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Maine Juvenile Detention Sex Abuse Lawsuits
Levy Konigsberg has garnered national attention representing survivors who were sexually abused in jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers across the country. Now, we’re reviewing potential cases from former inmates who were sexually abused at youth detention facilities throughout Maine.
As high-profile legal filings, public settlements, and sweeping investigations have revealed, youth detention centers across Maine have struggled for years to reign in a pervasive staff-on-inmate sexual abuse problem. This includes the Mountain View Development Center, which was plagued by scandals before it was closed in 2015, and the Long Creek Youth Development Center (LCYDC), which has been the state’s only youth incarceration facility since Mountain View was shuttered.
If you were sexually abused while housed in a jail or youth detention facility in Maine, our legal team is available to review your case and discuss whether you have grounds to pursue a claim.
Learn More: Maine Juvenile Detention Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Maine School Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
At Levy Konigsberg, our award-winning sexual abuse team has litigated complex and consequential cases against public school districts, private schools, and colleges and universities nationwide, and is actively investigating cases of school sexual abuse in Maine.
As evidenced by years of legal filings, criminal cases, and high-profile payouts, school districts and school operators in Maine routinely failed to uphold their obligations for protecting students. Often, this is the result of negligent hiring or supervisory failures. Sometimes, however, it’s the result of inexcusable and repeated failures or the willful efforts of officials who ignored complaints, covered up abuse, and kept survivors silent.
Fortunately, survivors can take advantage of their rights under Maine law to hold educational programs and institutions accountable – even if their abuse took place decades ago.
Some examples of civil and criminal cases involving school and teacher sexual abuse cases in Maine include:
- In June 2023, Michael Richardson, a former English teacher and basketball coach at Lee Academy in Penobscot County was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual assault and one count of unlawful sexual contact with a student stemming from an improper relationship at the school in 2021.
- In January 2023, a civil lawsuit was filed by a former camper who claims that he was sexually abused by a Massachusetts teacher working at a summer camp on Damariscotta Lake in Midcoast Maine in the 1970s. The teacher, William McCook Jr., was the assistant director of Camp Kieve in 1976 when he was accused of sexually abusing the then 11-year-old victim.
- In December 2022, a former student at the St. John Parochial School in Maine filed a civil lawsuit against the Portland Roman Catholic Diocese over claims that he was sexually abused by Sister Mary Geraldine Walsh as a second-grade student in the 1950s. The lawsuit was filed after changes in Maine’s law created a permanent lookback window to revive decades-old claims involving child sexual abuse.
- In June 2021, the Maine Regional School district agreed to pay $500,000 to a survivor who was sexually assaulted by a teacher while he was a student at Kennebunk High School. The lawsuit accused school officials of failing to stop an inappropriate relationship between a 17-year-old student and former teacher Jill Lamontagne in mid-2017. Lamontagne was indicted on 14 criminal charges but was found not guilty by a York County jury in 2018. This case illustrates how survivors can still recover compensation in civil cases even when alleged abusers are found not guilty in criminal court.
- In October 2020, a civil suit was filed against the Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, Maine and the Northern New England Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists Inc., which operated the school, by a former student who was sexually abused by Derek Michael Boyce in 2018. The suit claims that Boyce, who pleased guilty to multiple sex crime charges in 2019, groomed the 15-year-old student as her teacher and camp counselor at the religious organizations summer camp in Weld, and that he engaged in a sexual relationship with her that lasted nine months.
- In November 2016, Maine Township High School District 207 agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by five students who were subject to physical and sexual assaults while they were members of Maine West High School sports teams. The suit claims that the assaults were part of hazing rituals ordered and witnessed by several coaches and that school officials knew about the rituals for years but did nothing to stop them.
If you or a loved one were sexually abused by a teacher, principal, counselor, or other faculty or staff member at any school or college in Maine, you may have grounds to pursue legal action and compensation for your losses. Our team at Levy Konigsberg can help you learn more about your rights during a FREE and confidential consultation.
Learn More: School Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Other examples of sexual abuse cases we handle include:
- Sexual Abuse in Colleges and Universities
- Sexual Abuse in Residential Care Group Homes and Foster Care Homes
- Sexual Abuse in Hotels and The Hospitality Industry
- Sexual Abuse in Summer / Day Camps and Day Care / Preschools
Maine’s Civil Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations
Maine is one of the nation’s frontrunners when it comes to survivor-friendly legislation.
Thanks to a series of legislative amendments passed by state lawmakers, survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Maine now have the unprecedented right to seek justice and compensation – even if their abuse occurred decades ago. These changes were driven by two important laws:
- A 2000 law that eliminated the state’s statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse, giving those abused as minors an unlimited amount of time to file civil lawsuits.
- A 2021 law that retroactively lifted the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits based on childhood sexual abuse, giving survivors with previously barred claims the right to file lawsuits.
Maine’s current laws regarding child sexual abuse lawsuits are now among the nation’s most expansive, but they were once criticized for falling short. That’s because prior to the most recent legal change, Maine’s unlimited filing window for child sex abuse lawsuits did not apply to survivors with claims where the statute of limitations had already expired.
Fortunately, state lawmakers passed groundbreaking legislation in 2021 to retroactively lift the statute of limitations on previously time-barred claims. As a result, survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Maine now have the right to file lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that failed to protect them no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.
Legal Update: Maine’s 2021 legal amendment was a groundbreaking effort that better accounted for the fact that it can take years or decades before childhood sexual abuse survivors are able to fully process their abuse, identify its impact on their lives, and make the decision to step forward. And because its extensive scope opened the door to numerous lawsuits from decades ago, it was also viewed as a threat by institutions at risk of suffering crushing financial and reputational losses from a flood of claims.
This includes the Portland Roman Catholic Diocese, which is now leading an appeal to challenge the constitutionality of Maine’s new law. According to the Portland Diocese, for which civil sex abuse claims pose a considerable liability, survivors should only be able to file suit against abusers, many of whom of no longer alive or have no ability to compensate victims.
Our sexual abuse team at Levy Konigsberg is closely tracking this legal challenge, which will be heard by the Maine Supreme Court, and is reminding all survivors that Maine’s current survivor-friendly law still stands. If you have questions about your rights and options, we’re available to help.
My Abuser is Dead / Was Never Criminally Charged. Can I Still File a Lawsuit?
Yes. Sexual abuse lawsuits function independently from criminal proceedings. They focus solely on holding defendants liable for damages and do not concern issues of criminal guilt.
Additionally, they employ a lower burden of proof than what’s used in the criminal court system and can be brought against entities that failed to uphold duties to prevent abuse and protect victims. This is significant not only because it ensures that at-fault parties are held to account, but also because abusers, if they are still alive, rarely have the means to fairly, if at all, compensate survivors.
This means that it is still possible to pursue and prevail in a civil lawsuit even when:
- Your abuser was never criminally investigated or charged.
- Your abuser was acquitted of charges in a criminal trial.
- Your abuser is deceased.
Compensation in Sexual Abuse Cases
Sexual abuse lawsuits are a powerful tool for holding negligent institutions accountable for their failures to protect victims and they offer survivors an opportunity to recover compensation. And because the effects of sexual abuse can be profound and last a lifetime, settlements and awards in these cases can be substantial.
Generally, plaintiffs in sexual abuse lawsuits are entitled to financial recovery of their damages. These can include a range of emotional and financial losses, including:
- Past medical and mental health costs
- Future mental health expenses, including costs of ongoing therapy, medication, etc.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish and psychological harm
- Lost income and lost future earnings
- Other economic and non-economic damages
Sexual abuse claims are highly fact specific, which means that the circumstances surrounding your case will determine the ultimate value of your claim. At Levy Konigsberg, our firm has experience helping survivors fight for top-dollar recoveries and can help you assess the damages to which you may be entitled during a consultation.
Levy Konigsberg: A Nationally Recognized Sex Abuse Litigation Firm
Levy Konigsberg is a U.S. News “Best Law Firms” ranked trial practice with a reputation for litigating complex civil claims across the country. Led by an award-winning trial team, we’ve recovered over $4 billion in compensation for our clients, including millions of dollars for survivors of sexual abuse.
As a widely respected firm in this field of law, we’re trusted by survivors, families, and fellow lawyers to handle the toughest cases. Some of our notable accomplishments in this area include:
- Over $50 million in compensation recovered for sexual abuse survivors nationwide.
- Recognition from peers and the media, including a recent NY Daily News cover story profiling our ongoing work representing women sexually abused in NY prisons.
- High-profile sexual abuse litigation against powerful institutions, including the Catholic Church, prison and juvenile justice systems, hospital systems, school districts, and others that failed to protect survivors.
You can learn more about our latest sexual abuse work on our blog.
Call For a FREE Consultation: (800) 315-3806
At Levy Konigsberg, we know survivors come to us after taking courageous steps to speak out and fight back. We value this trust and devote our committed efforts, extensive resources, and considerable experience toward helping them obtain justice.
If you have questions about a potential sexual abuse lawsuit anywhere in Maine, we invite you to contact us. Our firm offers FREE and confidential consultations and works on contingency, which means we don’t charge up-front fees and collect a fee only if we win.
To speak with a Maine sexual abuse lawyer, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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