Are you a survivor of sexual abuse perpetrated by teacher John Merzbacher at Catholic Community Middle School? Merzbacher has been convicted of sexual abuse and rape of middle school students during the 1970s.
If you believe you have a clergy sexual abuse case based on interactions with teacher John Merzbacher, contact a law firm representing victims in these cases. The laws allowing these suits are complex, and you will want someone knowledgeable on your side to navigate this process.
The Allegations Against Teacher John Merzbacher at Catholic Community Middle School
Teacher John Merzbacher was a Catholic school teacher and, later, a convicted child rapist. According to the Associated Press, Merzbacher died in prison in May 2023 at age 81. He was serving four consecutive life sentences after being convicted of rape in 1995.
Merzbacher taught at all the following schools in Baltimore:
- Highlandtown Elementary School, approximately 1960-1962
- John Ruhurah Public School 228, approximately 1963-1970
- Patterson Park Public School 13, approximately 1970-1972
- Catholic Community Middle School, 1972-1979
In the mid-1990s, former students accused Merzbacher of sexual abuse, and more than a dozen participated in civil litigation against him at that time. This included both boys and girls, mostly from Catholic Community Middle School.
They accused him of rape and sexual assault that occurred in the 1970s and often involved him threatening them with a gun. They testified these incidents occurred at Catholic Community Middle School and the Rockaway Beach Volunteer Fire Department in Essex. There are also indications the Archdiocese of Baltimore was aware of allegations against him as early as 1974.
What Are My Options If Teacher John Merzbacher at Catholic Community Middle School Sexually Abused Me?
If you endured sexual abuse, rape, or other inappropriate conduct while you were a Catholic Community Middle School student, you could have a case. A law firm representing survivors of teacher John Merzbacher will discuss your options during a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. They can assess your case and explain how to hold the negligent parties responsible for pain and suffering related to the abuse you endured.
When your attorney builds a compelling case for you, they can include survivor videos and other evidence to show what occurred and who is liable. This will likely hold not only teacher John Merzbacher accountable but also Catholic Community Middle School, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and possibly other entities.
Recoverable compensation in a clergy sexual abuse claim or lawsuit could include money for your related expenses and losses. This includes past, current, and future economic and non-economic damages. Examples include:
- Medical bills for therapy, mental health care, and other related medical needs
- Income losses and reduced ability to work and earn, if applicable
- Emotional distress and other pain and suffering damages
It is often challenging to document damages a decade or more after the abuse, but your attorney understands the paperwork you must file and can explain how they can help in other ways. They can also estimate future care costs and assign a value to your non-economic damages. Your legal team will be invaluable in determining how much your case might be worth and fighting for a fair settlement.
What Did the Maryland Attorney General’s Office Uncover About Baltimore Clergy Abuse?
The Maryland Office of the Attorney General published a report about Baltimore clergy sexual abuse in the spring of 2023. This report documents a four-year investigation into the proliferation of child sex abuse allegations within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In all, the investigation identified 156 clergy members as perpetrators of sexual abuse. It also determined there were at least 600 child victims in Baltimore. This number is likely much higher as many survivors remain unknown.
As a part of this investigation, the Attorney General’s office gathered accusations, reviewed previous reports, and interviewed more than 300 survivors. Many had never spoken out about their abuse or filed an official report. Today, many survivors are ready to seek justice by holding the Archdiocese accountable.
It May Be Possible to Pursue Damages Even If Your Time Previously Expired
In part inspired by the Attorney General’s report, Maryland’s lawmakers passed The Child Victims Act of 2023. This bill became law in April 2023 and takes effect on October 1, 2023. It introduces sweeping changes in how the state handles child sexual abuse allegations and cases that survivors filed. This includes:
Defining Child Sexual Abuse
The law allows survivors to sue the perpetrator of the abuse as well as anyone who allows, encourages, or ignores it. This means the church, Archdiocese, or another organization could be legally liable.
Eliminating the Statute of Limitations
As of 2023, there is no deadline for filing a civil lawsuit based on clergy sexual abuse someone experienced as a child.
Allowing Retroactive Lawsuits
Even if your statute of limitations previously ran out and someone told you that you could not sue based on your abuse allegations, you can seek justice now.
Raising Caps on Damages
The law eliminates the cap on economic damages from private institutions and increases the cap on non-economic damages to $1.5 million. It also increases the cap on cases against a government agency, such as a school system, to $890,000 per case.
Talk to a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer From Our Team Today for Free
Our clergy sexual abuse lawyers provide initial case consultations for survivors of sexual abuse. These conversations are confidential and free. We want to ensure you know how we can help you get justice for the abuse you endured.
Jenner Law is accepting Maryland sexual abuse cases now. This includes those bases on credible allegations against teacher John Merzbacher at Catholic Community Middle School. Contact us to discuss your rights and options.