If you are a survivor of sexual abuse at St. Mark School, a primary school in Catonsville, Maryland, a clergy sexual abuse attorney at Jenner Law can fight your battle for you to hold those responsible for the childhood sexual abuse and coverup accountable for their actions. You do not have to face this legal process alone.
Clergy sexual abuse can cause lifelong harm to the survivors of the abuse. We can seek justice for you and work hard to go after transparency and accountability in cases like yours. You or a loved one can explore your legal options during a free and private consultation with our team.
Our Approach to Child Sex Abuse Cases Involving St. Mark School in Catonsville
We approach St. Mark School childhood sexual abuse cases using a three-step process:
- We look for every party who could be liable for the abuse you suffered as we thoroughly investigate and gather evidence to build your case. We do not stop by merely going after the individual priest or employee who committed the abuse. Often, others enabled the abuse by denying or ignoring the situation, failing to protect minors in their care, and failing to go to law enforcement authorities when they learned of the sexual abuse.
- We work with various field experts to substantiate the harm you suffered and quantify your damages. Experts in these cases can include healthcare professionals and mental health experts.
- We pursue the liable parties and demand they pay for their actions. If we cannot settle your case, we can take the matter to trial and let the court decide.
Of course, these steps are just a general outline of our approach to these cases. Every clergy sexual abuse case involves many more actions on our part. We will take the measures that fit your situation and its circumstances.
What Our St. Mark School in Catonsville Childhood Sexual Abuse Clients Can Expect from Us
Now that some clergy members have violated their trust, survivors of childhood sexual abuse at St. Mark School in Catonsville must know what they can expect from the attorneys who will fight to hold those abusers accountable for their actions. Your legal team at Jenner Law will deliver the following and more when we handle your clergy sexual abuse case:
- We will not jeopardize your privacy or well-being by requiring you to get more involved in the legal process than your comfort level will allow. You decide how much or little involvement you will have in the case.
- We will not charge you upfront attorney’s fees. Taking on the Catholic Church is an expensive prospect that most individuals could not afford on their own. We use contingency fees in these cases, which means we only get paid when you win in court or get a settlement.
- We craft a personalized legal services strategy for every case. Your situation is not cookie-cutter, and neither is our approach. The outcome of your case will impact you more than anyone else, so we pay close attention to the details.
- We have extensive experience handling sexual abuse cases, particularly in childhood sexual abuse by the clergy. We can anticipate their defense strategies and prepare our countermoves accordingly. We are not intimidated by defendants who deny or minimize their wrongdoing.
Victory can mean different things to different people. We will talk with you about what you want to accomplish in your childhood sexual abuse case against St. Mark School in Catonsville and go after what is important to you.
Maryland Passes The Child Victims Act of 2023 to Allow Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors to Seek Awards
Expired statute of limitations deadlines ended many survivors’ opportunities to seek damages for incidents that happened decades ago. That changed in Maryland in April 2023 when it passed The Child Victims Act of 2023. The new law allow childhood sexual abuse survivors to sue anyone involved in the abuse they endured. The law allows those who endured abuse to hold religious institutions accountable and recover financial awards from them.
- Cases brought against government agencies now have a higher damages cap of $890,000 per claim.
- Cases against private institutions can seek unlimited economic damages, such as medical bills and lost income. However, non-economic damages, like emotional distress, are limited to $1.5 million.
Damages Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors From St. Mark School Could Recover
St. Mark School survivors can pursue compensation for healthcare costs incurred from the abuse. This includes mental health treatment and other medical attention. Clergy sexual abuse can also cause physical pain and suffering, so survivors can receive financial compensation
Getting justice and having the truth come out can also be essential to victory in childhood sexual abuse cases. Holding accountable one’s abusers and those who enabled the abuse by covering up the misconduct can be highly meaningful and worthwhile.
There have been some criminal investigations against the abusers, but cases involving criminal charges do not usually recover financial compensation for the survivors. Jenner Law meets this need for survivors of St. Mark School sexual abuse.
Maryland’s Attorney General Investigated Allegations of Childhood Sexual Abuse at St. Mark School in Catonsvill
After numerous allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office investigated the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In April 2023, it published its findings in a 456-page document titled the Attorney General’s Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In it, it identifies credibly accused abusers who lived or worked at the St. Mark School in Catonsville from 1964 to 2004:
- Father Thomas Bauernfeind
- Father Ronald Belschner
- Father James Dowdy
- Father Frederick Duke
- Father Francis Ernst (Jesuit)
- Father Edward Heilman
- Father Marion Helowicz
- Father Ross LaPorta
- Father Robert Lentz
- Father Charles O. Rouse
- Father David G. Smith
- Monsignor Henry Francis Zerhusen
The Archdiocese of Baltimore acknowledged many of these allegations in its List of Priests and Brothers Accused of Child Sexual Abuse.
How the Catholic Church Covered Up Childhood Sexual Abuse at St. Mark School in Catonsville
The Attorney General’s report found that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was also to blame for allowing the sexual abuse to continue. Instead of reporting the allegations of criminal activity by the clergy to law enforcement, the church:
- Failed to protect the minors entrusted to them
- Shielded the abusers from criminal prosecution for their crimes against children
- Denied or minimized the abuse
- At most, the church moved accused priests around from one unsuspecting parish to another and sometimes sent accused abusers away to church-sanctioned “treatment”
- Characterized the abuse as a mental health issue or something similar to substance abuse rather than a crime
If the church had promptly done its duty and reported childhood sexual abuse, many children would likely have been spared from it.
Our Attorneys Will Help You Seek Damages for Child Sexual Abuse at St. Mark School in Catonsville, MD
Jenner Law wants to help if you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at St. Mark School in Catonsville. You can talk to us today for free in a no-cost, private consultation. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can start working for you
You deserve the chance to hold those who harmed you accountable. We can help. Call us today.