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SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

NEW HAMPSHIRE CATHOLIC CHURCH SEXUAL ABUSE LAWSUITS

Representing Survivors of Child & Adult Clergy Abuse

If you or someone you love were sexually abused by a member of the Catholic clergy in New Hampshire, you may be entitled to compensation.

In recent years, various record releases and court filings have produced evidence of a rampant sexual abuse problem within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester. 

In addition to revealing that more than 43 priests and clergy members have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse in parishes across the state, the records also show that church officials engaged in a decades-long coverup that enabled predator priests to abuse children without consequence to their actions.

As more survivors are increasingly stepping forward to seek justice and hold the Church accountable, our award-winning attorneys at Levy Konigsberg are here to help.

Levy Konigsberg is a nationally recognized trial practice with a legacy of litigating civil sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions and religious organizations. If you have questions about a potential case, call or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation with a New Hampshire Catholic church sex abuse attorney.

 

Internal Records Reveal Long List of Accused Clergy in New Hampshire

Like other Roman Catholic Dioceses that have been forced to respond to high-profile scandals, the Diocese of Manchester is now facing high-profile scandals. In New Hampshire alone, the names of the priests who have been held guilty, those who are undergoing trial, and the investigations priests are facing are now coming to light. The names are also shared and posted on a specific website.

As of 2023, the Manchester Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests includes names broken down into several categories. These include:

  • Credibly accused with cases concluded –  27
  • Credibly accused with cases in the process of investigation  – 1
  • Credibly accused priests accused After Laicization – 4
  • Credibly accused deceased Priests – 34
  • Credibly Accused Religious Orders – 7

Notably, this list has its limitations. In addition to leaving out critical information about when and where the clergy abuse took place, the list includes only the names of priests who have faced accusations that meet the Church’s definition of a “substantiated allegation.” As such, they leave out many priests and clerics who have been accused of abusing minors in New Hampshire over the years.

Legal Filings Detail Dark History of Sexual Abuse in New Hampshire Catholic Churches

In addition to lists of credibly accused priests released by the Diocese of Manchester, various legal filings, criminal cases, and high-profile settlements have revealed alarming claims about the scope of child sexual abuse and how Church officials failed for decades to report abusive priests and protect victims. Some examples include:

  • Monsignor John Boyd (Boyd), a priest in the 1950s, is one of the accused in the settlements reached by the Diocese of New Hampshire. It was stated that while he was overseeing the Holy Trinity School in Laconia, Boyd sexually abused one of the women in the school.
  • Another priest accused, this time in the 1970s, is Rev. Gerard Beaudet (Beaudet). According to the credible allegations, while serving as a pastor of Saint Albert’s parish in West Stewartson, Beaudet sexually abused one man and one woman.
  • Lawyers are also representing their clients in seeking justice when they cannot face the public because of the sexual abuse trauma. In a lawsuit, a victim claims to have been sexually abused when he was a teenager between the years of 1973 and 1974 by the Reverend Alfred Jannetta (Janetta). 
  • Janetta, then a priest for St. Paul Church in Franklin, was alleged to have given the child alcohol and marijuana before abusing him at St. Paul Church in Franklin.
  • The first settlement in this case was $950,000 and involved 16 victims. In one settlement, sixty-two people who were abused by priests and employees of the Diocese of Manchester between the 1950s and 1980s settled this lawsuit for $5 million. In the most recent settlement reported on March 26, 2024, the Diocese of Manchester settled a child sexual abuse claim from the 1970s involving a former priest for six figures.

     

What is the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Lawsuits in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, the Statute of Limitations for civil claims must be filed within three years from the date that the assault occurred. If the abuse took place while the victim was under the age of 18, it must be filed before the victim’s 30th birthday.

 There is currently a public outcry to change the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits in New Hampshire. Many states have changed their statute of limitations, and some have established a “lookback window” where people can sue no matter when the sexual abuse occurred.

In New Hampshire, new legislation has been proposed that would make it easier for victims to seek justice no matter how long ago the abuse took place. This would be groundbreaking legislation that will enable victims to receive compensation no matter the time frame.

Our team at Levy Konigsberg is closely tracking proposed legislation to eliminate New Hampshire’s civil sexual abuse statute of limitations. Our team is available to discuss your legal options for pursuing a claim under current law. We can explain the statute of limitations in your case during an initial consultation.

Do I Have a Case?

You may have grounds to file a civil legal action if:

  • You were sexually abused by a priest, Catholic church volunteer, or any other clergy member.
  • The abuse occurred anywhere in New Hampshire.

     

At Levy Konigsberg, we support survivors in civil actions that aim to hold the Catholic Church accountable for its failures to stop abusive priests and protect victims. These civil claims are separate from any criminal proceedings and focus on making the Church liable for damages. 

This means that you may still have a claim even if:

 

  • Your abuser is no longer alive.
  • Your abuser was never charged or convicted of a crime.

     

Recoverable Damages in Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Claims

In addition to accountability and providing the sense of justice survivors deserve, civil sex abuse lawsuits allow survivors to recover financial compensation for their damages, which may include the following:

  • Past medical and mental health expenses
  • Future mental health expenses, including therapy, medications, etc
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional anguish and psychological harm
  • Lost income
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

     

    Call For a FREE Consultation

      Levy Konigsberg has recovered more than $3 billion in compensation for clients, including millions in compensation for survivors of sexual abuse. We’re passionate about helping survivors seek justice and provide the firepower they need to fight against powerful institutions like the Catholic Church.

      If you have questions about pursuing a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester over sexual abuses that occurred anywhere in New Hampshire, we want to help. Call or fill out the form below for a FREE consultation.

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