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Illinois Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse Victims Have an Opportunity for Justice and Potential Compensation

Illinois Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse Victims Have an Opportunity for Justice and Potential Compensation

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The state of Illinois has been grappling with the shocking revelation of widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests and clergy members—the Attorney General's investigation found that over 450 clergy in Illinois sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since 1950.

The extent of the problem is far worse than previously reported by the church, and many victims are now seeking justice and potential compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.

However, there are opportunities for abuse victims to seek justice—starting with the reduction of the statute of limitations in Illinois—and a skilled attorney can help make a difference in the fight for compensation.

The Horrifying Reality of Clergy Abuse in Illinois

The attorney general's investigation has uncovered a staggering number of cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and clergy members in Illinois, many of which have remained private for decades.

The church has often been slow to acknowledge the extent of the abuse—some church leaders have even been accused of cover-ups and failing to warn parishioners about potential abusers in their midst.

Victims of this abuse have long suffered in silence, but the release of the attorney general's report has brought their stories to light and provided a measure of healing to survivors.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Illinois

In 2014, the Illinois statute of limitations was eliminated for child sex abuse claims regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.

Even if the abuser is deceased, victims may be able to file a claim against the responsible organization, such as a church, synagogue, mosque, or other faith organization.

This replaced an earlier law that only gave childhood sexual abuse survivors 20 years after they reached age 18—or, five years after they discovered that sexual abuse occurred and caused their injuries—to file a claim against their abuser.

The Role of a Skilled Attorney

Navigating the legal complexities of clergy abuse cases can be challenging for victims—an experienced attorney can make a significant difference in their pursuit of justice and compensation.

A skilled attorney can:

  • Help victims understand their options;
  • Determine if their claim is within the statute of limitations; and,
  • Represent their interests in court or through settlement negotiations.

In some cases, victims may be able to pursue a claim out of court through independent compensation programs set up by various dioceses, with an independent claims administrator reviewing the claims and determining eligibility for compensation. 

A Call to Action for Illinois Clergy Abuse Victims

If you or a loved one has been a victim of childhood priest abuse in Illinois, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible—request a free, private case evaluation to understand just how much your personal injury case may be worth.

We believe Illinois catholic priest clergy abuse victims and their families deserve justice and potential compensation.

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