Are you a survivor of abuse by Sister Francis Marie Yocum at The Catholic High School in Baltimore? The Maryland Office of the Attorney General lists Yocum in a report that links more than 150 clergy members to child sexual abuse claims while active in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Survivors of clergy abuse can now pursue justice, compensation, and accountability from the Archdiocese.
If you believe you have a sexual abuse case against Sister Yocum, you can speak with an attorney familiar with this case for free today. Learn about your rights and options during a free, confidential case consultation.
Who Was Sister Francis Yocum, and What Are the Allegations Against Her?
Sister Yocum was a music and voice teacher throughout the 1950s at The Catholic High School in Baltimore. In early 2012, a woman reported being a survivor of abuse perpetrated by Sister Yocum in 1954. The woman attended the school and took private voice lessons from Sister Yocum.
According to the allegations, the clergy sexual abuse occurred when the survivor was 16 and 17 years old. According to a report from her congregation, Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Yocum died almost 30 years ago. Baltimore television news station WMAR also reported that The Catholic High School has renamed its auditorium, which was previously named after Sister Yocum.
Per the Maryland Office of the Attorney General’s report released in April 2023, Sister Yocum is not on any credibly accused lists. However, others could have allegations against her. You can still take legal action if you are a survivor of abuse that Sister Yocum or another clergy member perpetrated. We believe you.
What Should I Do If I Am a Survivor of Abuse by Sister Francis Yocum?
If you believe you have a claim against the Archdiocese of Baltimore or another party because of abuse perpetrated by Sister Yocum, you can speak to a clergy abuse lawyer about your options for free. Law firms pursuing clergy sexual abuse cases offer free, no-obligation, confidential assessments. You can contact them to discuss your rights, options, and next steps. These conversations with compassionate lawyers are always private.
If you proceed with a case, an attorney will not charge you anything up front. Their fees come from the compensation they recover for you. The recovered money includes compensation for the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses, including mental health care (e.g., therapy, counseling, etc.)
- Past, present, and future income losses and reduced earning ability
- Past, present, and future emotional distress and other intangible losses (e.g., “pain and suffering”)
An attorney can document these losses, corroborate your allegations against Sister Yocum, and take other steps to build a compelling case. They also use survivor videos as evidence when available.
Under recently updated laws, survivors in Maryland can pursue a civil case against a liable institution, often the Archdiocese of Baltimore, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. This is true even if an attorney previously told you that applicable time limits prevent you from suing.
How Will the Maryland Office of the Attorney General’s Report Support My Case?
As mentioned earlier, the report released in April 2023 said Sister Yocum did not appear on any credibly accused lists as of publication time. However, this report—the result of a four-year investigation—links 156 clergy and members within the Archdiocese of Baltimore to abuse allegations.
It also acknowledges at least 600 child victims of Baltimore clergy abuse and states there could be many more. It describes, in detail, the allegations against each clergy member, teacher, or other affiliated party. This information can corroborate your story, confirming details of how, where, and when your abuse occurred and Sister Yocum’s activities at the time.
The report’s information came from interviews the Maryland Office of the Attorney General had with more than 300 survivors and other witnesses. Many survivors came forward for the first time to share their stories, hoping it could prevent similar incidents.
Maryland’s Recent Changes to Child Sex Abuse Laws Give Survivors More Options
In April 2023, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed The Child Victims Act of 2023 into law. Under this law, adults who survived sexual abuse as children have additional rights and options for justice. Among the changes under this law, they:
- Can hold institutions that protected abusers legally liable
- Have no deadlines for filing civil cases based on the abuse they endured
- Can file a lawsuit retroactively, meaning they have the option even if the statute of limitations previously ran out
- Can recover more money for the abuse they suffered
When it concerns financial recovery in a Maryland child sex abuse case, the following apply:
- There is no limit on economic damages—medical bills and lost income—from a private institution.
- The cap on non-economic “pain and suffering” damages is $1.5 million per case involving private institutions.
- The cap on compensation from public school boards and government agencies increased to $890,000 per claim.
Under these new laws, survivors can likely pursue a case against the Archdiocese of Baltimore or another liable party regardless of if they were previously told their time to do so ran out. Adults who suffered clergy sexual abuse as children can hold the Archdiocese accountable, seek compensation, and help prevent similar occurrences.
Discuss Your Baltimore Clergy Sexual Abuse Case With Our Team for Free
You can discuss your legal options, rights, and what to do next with an attorney handling these cases in Maryland. At Jenner Law, our attorneys provide free case consultations for clergy sexual abuse survivors. We will answer your questions and help you decide if you want to proceed with your case. All consultations with our clients are confidential.
Contact us online or via telephone today to learn more. We have someone available 24/7 to take your call.