Last week our legal team asked a Baltimore Circuit Court judge to release a sealed Grand Jury Report on pervasive, serial sexual abuse within the Baltimore Archdiocese. We commend a leading Maryland State Senator for supporting a proposal to give childhood sexual assault and abuse survivors, including those victimized over decades by Archdiocese priests, the right to seek justice for their life-altering injuries. Specifically, we applaud State Sen. Will Smith (D-Montgomery), chair of the pivotal Judicial Proceedings Committee, who yesterday signaled his support for a reform measure similar to one that previously passed the Assembly but, facing intense opposition by the Archdiocese, failed in his committee.
We also commend Senator Smith, Assemblyman C.T. Wilson, and all members of the Maryland legislature who stand with survivors and crime victims, and against those whose actions protect the predators. Our clients include survivors of clergy-inflicted abuse and survivor-advocates. We fight alongside them for justice, in courthouses and statehouses. We oppose any effort to quash survivors’ rights for justice in the Court.
What Is The Current Statute of Limitations on Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuits?
The current statute of limitations is unacceptable. The current statute of limitations (now requiring survivors to file a claim by their 38th birthday) has no reasonable “look-back window.” Institutions of all types, including the Archdiocese, which negligently allowed and enabled child sexual abuse, should be held accountable. The proposed two-year filing window for survivors – many now in their 60s and 70s – following the bill’s passage, is reasonable and just.
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What Is Being done About This Unfair Limitation?
Our firm, along with the law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer, jointly represents Survivors Michele Stanton and Donna Vondenbosch, and Advocates Gemma Hoskins and the international organization, Survivors Network for those Accused by Priests (SNAP), headed locally by David Lorenz, Maryland Director. Gemma Hoskins is the driving force behind The Keepers, the Netflix documentary exploring the unsolved death of Sister Cathy Cesnik, and the abuse that occurred at Archbishop Keogh High School starting in the late 1960’s.
The referenced Motion to unseal the Grand Jury Report was filed directly with the Clerk’s Office; it is, therefore, subject to the court’s confidentiality order.