Reports of Priest and Clergy Abuse State By State

Several states have either passed or are in the process of passing legislation and several dioceses have established reparation programs to protect and compensate victims of abuse. In an ongoing effort to increase transparency, various dioceses have also compiled lists of priest and clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse and have released those lists to the public. This page contains state-by-state information including legislation, reparation programs and accused priest and clergy that is updated frequently. If your state or diocese is not included, please contact us directly and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Arizona

The parishes of Arizona are overseen by one of three dioceses based on geographic location; the Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Tucson, the Diocese of Gallup (which also oversees parishes in western New Mexico). The Diocese of Phoenix began publishing a list of priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse in 2012. In 2003, an investigation into the diocese led to the indictment of six priests and the ouster of then–Bishop Thomas O’Brien who had admitted to covering up the abuse.

A recent release from the Catholic Order of Franciscan Friars of the Province of Saint Barbara, based in Oakland, disclosed the names of 50 clergy members who they say are credibly accused of abusing children. Half of the men on the list had assignments throughout Arizona including within the Diocese of Phoenix but only two were included in the Diocese’s list. Upon the release of the Order’s list, the Diocese pledged to review and update their own list as necessary and Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted urged any victim of abuse to call local law–enforcement. The dioceses of Tucson and Gallup have also provided lists of credibly accused priests who have served there. To support victims and allow for justice, in May 2019, the state of Arizona passed a law that allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse until the age of 30 to bring civil lawsuits against their abusers. Importantly, for anyone older than 30, there is a special window open until December 31, 2020 to file a lawsuit.


California

California Independent Compensation Program

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of Fresno, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego have established and now launched an “Independent Compensation Program (“ICP”) to provide monetary compensation to survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by priests of those institutions. The ICP is a voluntary program that will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros who have extensive experience organizing and running similar programs for Dioceses throughout the United States.

The Program is intended to operate separately from the Archdiocese and Dioceses. “The Administrators of the Program have complete autonomy to determine eligibility of individual claims and the amount of compensation for victims that come forward with a claim.” The Program administers claims of child sexual abuse committed by priests of any of the Archdiocese and Dioceses. It does not include claims of child sexual abuse against members of religious orders, clergy of any other archdiocese or dioceses, deacons or lay persons.

The ICP officially launched on September 16, 2019 and provides for the following:

  • Those survivors of childhood sexual abuse – perpetrated by the covered priests — who previously reported the abuse to the Office of Child and Youth Protection (“OCYP”) should receive claim forms in the mail
  • Those survivors who have NOT previously reported the abuse to OCYP will have to register with the ICP
  • The registration period is open from September 16, 2019 until January 31, 2020
  • The deadline for filing a claim is March 31, 2020
  • The ICP is open to eligible survivors without regard to whether their claims are considered expired under California’s applicable statute of limitations
  • Except as may be required by law and agreement with law enforcement, information submitted to the ICP is confidential

Click here for a list of California priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.


Colorado

Colorado Independent Compensation Program Launches

The Archdiocese of Denver and the Dioceses of Colorado Springs and Pueblo have established and now launched an “Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP)” to provide monetary compensation to survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by priests or bishops of those institutions. The IRRP is a voluntary program that will be administered by Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros who have extensive experience organizing and running similar programs for dioceses throughout the United States.

The ICP was officially launched on October 7, 2019 and provides for the following:

  • Those survivors of childhood sexual abuse - perpetrated by the covered priests and bishops – who previously reported the abuse to the Office of Child and Youth Protection (“OCYP”) or to the Diocese should receive claim forms in the mail
  • Those survivors who have NOT previously reported the abuse to OCYP will have to register with the IRRP
  • The registration period is open from October 7, 2019 until November 30, 2019
  • The deadline for filing a Claim January 31, 2020
  • The IRRP is open to eligible survivors without regard to whether their claims are considered expired under Colorado’s applicable statute of limitations
  • Except as may be required by law and agreement with law enforcement, information submitted to the IRRP is confidential

Colorado Clergy Abuse Investigation

In February 2019, Colorado State Attorney General Phil Weiser announced an independent investigation with the full cooperation of the three Catholic dioceses in Colorado; the Archdiocese of Denver, the Diocese of Colorado Springs, and the Diocese of Pueblo. The investigation will be run by former U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer. The dioceses have agreed to make available all records of past abuse to Troyer who will produce a report due out in the fall of 2019. Like other dioceses across the country, a list of priests who have determined to be credibly accused of sexual abuse in Colorado can be expected upon the completion of the investigation. Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila has stressed that full transparency by the church is paramount in the healing process.


Connecticut

The Connecticut legislature has wrestled with proposed legislation that would open a “revival window” enabling older victims of clergy and other child sexual abuse to sue their abusers and responsible institutions. Each time, the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, insurance companies and others have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying lawmakers to oppose such legislation. The most recent effort was defeated in May 2019. Another effort appears to be taking shape in 2019 but its future remains uncertain.

Here is a summary of what has occurred in each of the three Connecticut Dioceses concerning priests who have been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse and settlements which have been paid:

Hartford Archdiocese Releases List of Accused Priests

In January 2019 the Archdiocese of Hartford released the names of 48 priests who, based on the determination of the Archdiocese’s investigator, have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

As of that date, the Archdiocese has paid $50.6million to settle 142 individual claims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests of the Archdiocese or under its control at the time of the abuse. This equates to an average settlement amount of $356,338. Individual settlements ranged from $3,000 to $1.6million.

Bridgeport CT Diocese Releases Report

In October 2019, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut issued a report detailing child sexual abuse by priests serving the Diocese since its formation in 1953. The report was compiled by a retired Connecticut Superior Judge. The report is based upon the existing files and records of the Diocese so there are likely to be many more incidents of abuse that occurred but went unreported.

The Bridgeport Diocese has paid out almost $56 million in settlements of claims of child abuse by Diocesan priests. Of this, $45.4million was paid for settlement of 172 claims of abuse perpetrated by 10 serial abuser priests (an average of $264,093 per claim).

Norwich Diocese Releases List of Accused Priests

In February 2019, the Diocese of Norwich released the names of 42 priests who had allegations of child sexual abuse brought against them that the Diocese’s investigators deemed to have “substance.”

From July 1977 through January 31, 2019, the Diocese settled 9 cases that alleged child sexual abuse. The settlements totaled $7,681,646. This equates to an average settlement value of $853,516.

Click here for a list of Connecticut priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.


Illinois

Illinois Attorney General Releases Preliminary Report

On December 19, 2018 the Attorney General for Illinois issued “Preliminary Findings of the Investigation into Catholic Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors in Illinois.” The investigation began in August 2018 and included all six of the dioceses in Illinois:

  • Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Diocese of Belleville
  • Diocese of Joliet
  • Diocese of Peoria
  • Diocese of Rockford
  • Diocese of Springfield (collectively the “Dioceses”)

The Preliminary Findings of the Attorney General’s investigation included the following:

  • The Dioceses acknowledged that they are aware of an additional 45 previously undisclosed clergy members whom the Dioceses deemed to be “credibly” accused of sexual abuse of children
  • The Attorney General’s review of the Dioceses’ files indicates that the Dioceses have received allegations of child sexual abuse involving approximately 690 clergy members
  • Prior to August, 2018, the Dioceses identified only 185 clergy members as having been “credibly” accused of child sexual abuse
  • “As a result, the Illinois Dioceses have received allegations of sexual abuse for more than 500 clergy that the Illinois Dioceses have not shared with the public.”

Preliminary Findings also include that: “The Illinois Dioceses often disregarded survivors’ allegations by either not investigating the allegations, or finding reasons not to substantiate the allegations.” And further that the Dioceses are failing survivors: “The Illinois Dioceses’ investigatory processes often do not realize the [Cathlic Bishops’]Charter’s goal to prioritize survivor healing, particularly when conflicts of interest are present with respect to the Dioceses’ own interest and liabilities.”

Click here for a list of Illinois priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.


Massachusetts

Massachusetts is home to the second highest number of Catholics per capita and Boston has the highest percentage of Catholics amongst all large dioceses across the country. A landmark report appearing in 2002 in The Boston Globe detailed a long history of priests in the Archdiocese of Boston sexually abusing children while church leaders covered up the abuse. The scandal was part of a series of Catholic Church sexual abuse cases and reports across the country but the scale of the abuse and coverup detailed in the Globe’s investigative report, titled “Spotlight Investigation: Abuse in the Catholic Church”, led to widespread media coverage helping expose a long history of abuse and coverup within the Church. Subsequent national and international investigations and allegations revealed the number of victims reached into the several thousands with reported abuse spanning many decades.

Immediately following the report, criminal charges were brought against Boston area priests John Geoghan, John Hanlon, Paul Shanley, Robert V. Gale and Jesuit priest James Talbot with all being convicted and sentenced to prison. Following the report, it was revealed that Boston Archbishop Cardinal Bernard Francis Law had an extensive role in covering up sexual abuse by his priests and he would resign that December. In 2002, the victims of Geoghan received a $10 million settlement from the Boston Archdiocese and in 2003 an additional $85 million was paid to 552 victims to settle lawsuits over church abuse within the Archdiocese. Since then, there have been other high-profile cases with dozens upon dozens of priests accused of sexual abuse within Boston and the other three Massachusetts dioceses of Fall River, Springfield and Worchester.

Click here for a list of Massachusetts priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.



New Jersey

On February 13, 2019, the five Catholic Dioceses serving New Jersey’s Catholics released the names of priests who have been credibly abused of child sexual abuse. The release of the list of names follows an announcement of the establishment of an Independent Victims Compensation Program (IVCP) by the five Dioceses. The IVCP will administer claims on behalf of all five Dioceses, using uniform standards. The IVCP is intended to provide compensation to survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by priests ordained within one of the five Dioceses. It will not consider claims of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by adults and others serving churches within the Dioceses.

After a 30-day comment period, the IVCP is expected to begin operating and, during the first six months (Phase I), process claims of survivors who have previously made claims of childhood sexual abuse against any one of the Dioceses. During the ensuing six months (Phase II), the IVCP will process newly asserted claim of childhood sexual abuse.

The IVCP will be administered by Camille Biros and Kenneth Feinberg, who currently oversee and manage similar funds established in New York and Pennsylvania. Survivors who participate in the IVCP will release their rights to bring further claims against the Dioceses. Claims will likely be evaluated on a case-by-case basis using certain criteria to distinguish claims from one another. No compensation amounts have been announced but the highest amount reportedly paid in New York’s program was approximately $500,000.

A draft of the IVCP protocol is expected to be released on or before March 1, 2019. Claims must be filed by December 31, 2019. The Dioceses will have no appeal rights with regard to compensation decisions made by the IVCP. According to the New Jersey’s Catholic Star Herald, “Important features of the Compensation Program include:

  • 1. The complete independence of the two Administrators in determining eligibility and the amount of compensation.
  • 2. The Program is completely voluntary; no individual claimant is required to participate.
  • 3. All payments authorized by the Administrators will come from Diocese funds; no public money will be used to compensate victims.
  • 4. Only if the individual victim accepts the amount offered by the Administrators will a signed Release be required, in which the victim agrees not to engage in any further litigation against the particular Diocese.
  • 5. The IVCP will first give a priority to claimants who previously complained to Church officials about the sexual abuse. Phase II of the Program will permit new claimants – who did not previously file a complaint with the Diocese – to register for consideration for eligibility to participate in the Program. Their claims will similarly be reviewed and subsequently processed by the two independent Administrators.

Click here for a complete list sorted by diocese of New Jersey priests accused of abuse.


New York

New York Attorney General Issues Civil Subpoenas

In September, 2018, New York’s Attorney General issued eight subpoenas, one to each of the eight Catholic Church dioceses in New York. The subpoenas request all documents related to allegations and findings of sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy. The subpoenas reportedly also request all documents related to settlements of clergy sex abuse claims by each of the dioceses.

The state of New York has over 296 parishes servicing over 2.8 million Catholics. A number of dioceses have already created settlement programs for abuse victims. A few examples of New york dicoceses making announcements and creating settlement programs are listed below:

  • Archdiocese of New York - $60 million settlement – 278 survivors of clergy sex abuse
  • Diocese of Brooklyn - $27.5 million settlement – 4 abuse survivors
  • Diocese of Brooklyn - Settlement Program - 374 settled claims – Approximately $500K each
  • Syracuse Diocese - Beginning of 2018 reports 76 known victims of abuse
  • Across 5 Dioceses - 1262 claims filed – 1133 claims with offers – 981 settled as of 9/2018

Governor Cuomo Signs New York Child Victims Act

On February 14, 2019, New York Governor Cuomo signed the New York Child Victims Act into law. The Childhood Victims Act was passed by the New York State legislature on January 28th and then awaited Governor Cuomo’s signature. With Governor Cuomo’s signature, the Childhood Victims Act is now the law in New York and provides for the following:

  • Extends the time within which civil claims can be brought for childhood sexual abuse. Under previous law, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse could bring claims only up until the date of his/her 23rd birthday. Now, under the Childhood Victims Act such claims can be brought up until the survivor’s 55th birthday.
  • Opens a one-year period of time within which survivors of child sexual abuse, whose claims are beyond the statute of limitations, can bring civil claims for harm and damages suffered as a result of the childhood sexual abuse.

This latter provision of the Childhood Victims Act will take effect six months from February 14th, 2019. So beginning in mid-August, 2019, and continuing for a period of one year, survivors of childhood sexual abuse can file lawsuits in New York to compensate them for the harm and damages they suffered as a result of the childhood sexual abuse.

We are currently working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse that was perpetrated in New York - reviewing and evaluating claims and providing legal representation.

Click here for a list of New York priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Reports Clergy Sexual Abuse

In August, 2018 a Pennsylvania grand jury issued a report detailing sexual abuse of over 1,000 children and adolescents perpetrated by “over three hundred predator priests” spanning a period of 70 years. The report covered six of the eight Pennsylvania Catholic Church’s dioceses which encompasses 54 of the state’s 67 counties.

Describing a culture of cover-up, the Report states:

“The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid “scandal.” That is not our word, but theirs; it appears over and over again in the documents we recovered. Abuse complaints were kept locked up in a “secret archive.” That is not our word, but theirs; the church’s Code of Canon Law specifically requires the diocese to maintain such an archive. Only the bishop can have the key.”
40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury REPORT 1 Interim—Redacted at Page 2.

Click here for a list of Pennsylvania priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.


Philadelphia Archdiocese Compensation Program

In an effort to further support the victims/survivors of sexual abuse by Priests and Deacons of the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has launched the “Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program for Claims of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors” (the “IRRP”). This program was announced on November 13, 2018 and is intended to provide additional compensation to victims on top of the existing compensation program implemented in 2003. There are specific rules and guidelines defining who can submit a claim to this program.

The IRRP is a voluntary compensation program. No one is required to participate. Importantly, the submission of a claim does not obligate the claimant to accept an offer of compensation, if any, made by the IRRP. If an offer of compensation is made by the IRRP and accepted by the claimant, the claimant will be required to sign a Release.

Click here for more information about the IRRP program.


Pittsburgh Diocese Compensation Program

Following in the footsteps of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Diocese of Pittsburgh has enacted its own, similar program in an effort to further support the victims/survivors of sexual abuse by Priests and Deacons of the Catholic Church. Titled the “Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program for Claims of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors” (the “IRCP”), it is very similar to the IRRP program. This new IRCP program was announced on December 13, 2018 and officially went into effect as of January 22, 2019. Just as with the IRRP, the IRCP is intended to provide additional compensation to victims on top of the existing compensation program implemented in 2003. There are specific rules and guidelines defining who can submit a claim to this program.

The IRCP is a voluntary compensation program. No one is required to participate. Importantly, the submission of a claim does not obligate the claimant to accept an offer of compensation, if any, that may be made by the IRCP. If an offer of compensation is made by the IRCP and accepted by the claimant, the claimant will be required to sign a Release.

Click here for more information about the IRCP program.

Other Pennsylvania Dioceses

Erie Diocese - On November 8, 2018, the Diocese of Erie announced the formation of the Independent Survivors' Reparation Program (ISRP). Claimants must register with the program by May 31, 2019 and claims must be submitted to the Administrators by August 15, 2019.

Scranton Diocese – On November 8, 2018, the Diocese of Scranton announced the formation of the Independent Survivor Compensation Program (ISCP). Claimants must register with the program before July 31, 2019 and claims must be submitted to the Administrators by September 30, 2019.

Allentown Diocese – Survivor compensation plan to be determined.

Greensburg Diocese – The Diocese of Greensburg announced details of a Comprehensive Reconciliation Initiative to help survivors of clergy sexual abuse which includes a Survivors’ Compensation program administered by Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation, Inc. (CMCI) of Massachusetts. To participate in the program a claimant must submit a questionnaire to CMCI, completed and post-marked on or before May 28, 2019. CMCI will hear all claims and make settlement offers to the claimants within 60 days of the close of the initial claims phase, meaning on or before July 29, 2019.

Altoona-Johnstown Diocese – A private mediation-compensation program is in planning. More information will be made available upon its release from the Diocese.

Harrisburg Diocese - The Diocese of Harrisburg has opened the Survivor Compensation Program. This Program will be administered by Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation, Inc. (CMCI) of Massachusetts. The claims period will run for 90 days, from February 12, 2019 through May 13, 2019.

If you think you might be eligible for one of these Programs, we would like to talk with you. To speak with us, please complete our Confidential E-Contact form. Please be mindful that these Programs have strict deadlines so we encourage you to act promptly.


Rhode Island

The Diocese of Providence oversees all parishes in the state of Rhode Island and with Catholics comprising 42% of the population, Rhode Island is the most Catholic state per capita in America. In the early 2000s a wave of clergy sexual abuse cases rocked the Catholic communities of Rhode Island. In 2002, the Diocese of Providence settled dozens of sexual abuse cases for $14 million. Rhode Island courts later ruled against the diocese which had fought to keep confidential the files of 83 priests who had faced accusations of abuse in the past. The Providence Journal reports that in 2007, details of cover up attempts made by Rhode Island church officials became public causing further pain amongst survivors and other parishioners.

According to a recent report in the Providence Journal, Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has faced criticism over a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report that 300 priests had abused more than 1,000 children. The reason for the criticism is that from 1992-1996, Bishop Tobin was the auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh, PA, one of the dioceses named in the grand jury report. While Bishop Tobin was not named in the findings or questioned by investigators, some local parishioners still believe he bears moral responsibility. In December 2018, amid new pressure on the church, Bishop Tobin announced that the Providence diocese had begun gathering a list of names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual assault. This list was officially released in July of 2019.

Click here for a list of Rhode Island priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.


Texas

Texas Dioceses Disclose Names of Priests who Abused Children

On January 31, 2019, the 15 Texas Catholic church dioceses released the names of approximately 300 priests who, over a period spanning almost 80 years, were “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children. With approximately 8.5million Catholics and 1,320 parishes in Texas, the numbers reported are likely to change as more survivors come forward.

Click here for a list of Texas priests accused of abuse sorted by diocese.

Vermont

Diocese of Burlington Releases Names of Credibly Accused Priests

The Diocese of Burlington oversees all parishes in the state of Vermont. In October 2018, Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne decided to join other dioceses nationwide that have released the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse against children. A committee was appointed by Bishop Coyne that would review decades worth of records to determine which priests could “credibly” be added to the list if allegations satisfied one or more of the following thresholds: Natural, plausible and probable; corroborated with other evidence or another source; or acknowledged/admitted to by the accused. In August 2019, the diocese released a list of 40 names that they deemed credibly accused. In an effort to protect the victims’ identities, the committee did not release the details of allegations or when or where the abuse occurred.

While the list is a positive step forward, the committee admitted that the diocese’s record keeping system was inadequate and incomplete and has recommended the diocese adopt a formal tracking system and database or reported allegations. This could be taken to mean there are other priests who were not included on the list due to insufficient records but could be in the future. If you or a loved one were abused by a priest in Vermont, whether on the list or not, new legislation that has removed the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims and will allow you to bring civil claims against abusers regardless of when the abuse took place.

Click here for a list of Vermont priests accused of abuse.

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