The Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland names Father Jerome “Jeff” Toohey on its list of church personnel who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. Father Toohey has also been convicted of child sexual abuse. During his time with the Archdiocese, he served as a chaplain and counselor at Calvert Hall College High School and in other community capacities.
If you are a survivor of clergy sexual abuse by Father Toohey, you are not alone. As a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, you may have an opportunity to pursue compensation and justice because of a law Maryland recently passed. This could be true even if you were told you could not sue previously. You can contact a lawyer accepting these cases today to learn more.
Allegations Against Father Jerome ‘Jeff’ Toohey
Father Toohey was ordained in Baltimore in 1977. His assignments include:
- Associate Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi, Baltimore, 1977-1984
- Board Member/Board President, John Carroll High School, Baltimore, 1980-1990
- Chaplain, Baltimore County Police Department, 1987-1990
- Chaplain, Calvert Hall College High School, Baltimore, 1982-1993
- Chaplain to the Deaf Community, 1984-1993
- Weekend Associate, St. John the Evangelist, Hydes, MD, 1984-1993
While the first known complaints about potential misconduct came in 1990, he was not formally accused of sexual abuse until a male Calvert Hall College High School student filed allegations against him in December 1993. The alleged abuse occurred several years before, during the late 1980s. Father Toohey denied the accusations. The student’s family later filed a lawsuit, but it was dismissed. Since that time, several others have come forward with similar allegations.
In 2004, a male student credibly accused Father Toohey of sexual abuse during counseling with him between 1987 and 1990. CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts declared that he was that accuser after Father Toohey faced criminal charges in 2005. Later that year, Father Toohey entered a guilty plea and served 10 months of a five-year prison sentence before his release. He also received 18 months of supervised probation.
According to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Church dismissed Father Jeff Toohey from the clerical state in 2012.
What Should I Do If I Suffered Abuse by Father Jerome ‘Jeff’ Toohey?
If you survived abuse by Father Toohey, law firms pursuing cases against the Archdiocese of Baltimore and other institutions will help you understand your options and how these cases work. They provide compassionate, empathetic support, legal advice, and representation.
You will need evidence to support a claim or lawsuit related to clergy sexual abuse by Father Toohey. Your attorney will know what you need to develop a compelling argument, identify and assess your potentially recoverable damages, and take the necessary steps to seek and secure justice. This may include survivor videos if available.
If you are unsure about proceeding with a case, you should understand that all consultations with a clergy sexual abuse attorney are confidential. No one will know if you discussed the possible case with a lawyer, and there is no obligation to file a case. A clergy sexual abuse lawyer can also address survivors’ concerns about these cases and put them at ease about telling their stories.
The Maryland Attorney General’s Office Published a Report Documenting Widespread Clergy Sexual Abuse
In April 2023, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office published a 400-plus page report on its multiyear investigation into child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. This report includes a list of more than 150 clergy members who have been linked to child sexual abuse. Investigators interviewed more than 300 survivors, determined there were hundreds more, and concluded there likely were many more unidentified people who endured sexual abuse.
The state’s report on Baltimore clergy abuse supports many survivors speaking out about the abuse they endured for the first time.
A Change in Maryland Law Gives Survivors an Opportunity for Justice
In April 2023, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed The Child Victims Act of 2023 into law. Starting on October 1st, this law will eliminate the filing deadline that has stopped countless survivors from seeking justice. The new legislation also redefines child sexual abuse, allowing survivors to hold both the perpetrator and any institution or co-conspirators accountable.
Perhaps most importantly to many survivors, it allows retroactive lawsuits. Those whose deadlines to sue passed previously now have a revived right to hold the liable parties accountable.
Survivors can also recover more compensation from those who failed to protect them as children. The new caps on recoverable damages include:
- No cap on economic damages from private institutions
- $1.5 million cap in non-economic damages per case involving private institutions
- $890,000 per claim cap on non-economic damages from public school boards and government entities
What Damages Can Survivors Recover in a Clergy Sexual Abuse Case?
When a survivor sues the institution or entity where their abuse occurred, they can seek compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. An attorney can secure documentation of their past, current, and future expenses and losses incurred. This could include:
- Medical bills for mental health support, therapy, and other related needs
- Income losses from time missed at work
- Reduced ability to work and earn a living
- Emotional distress and other pain and suffering losses
Talk to a Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney from Our Team for Free
Jenner Law’s attorneys are accepting Maryland clergy abuse cases now. This includes cases involving Father Jerome “Jeff” Toohey, who the Archdiocese of Baltimore listed as credibly accused in 2002 and has spent time behind bars for his role in the abuse of at least one survivor in the 1980s.
If the Maryland Child Victims Act allows you to come forward and file a claim against your abuser, our firm is ready to provide the sensitive and compassionate counsel you need to feel confident and secure throughout your case.
Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and learn more about your legal rights as a survivor of sexual abuse.