Priest Clergy Sexual Abuse in North Carolina

North Carolina Legislative Updates

Governor of North Carolina Signs Bill Making Major Changes to Statute of Limitations

On November 7, 2019, North Carolina’s Governor signed Senate Bill 199 which made major changes to the state’s Statutes of Limitations (“SOL”) applicable to childhood sexual abuse. In addition, effective January 1, 2020 and extending until December 31, 2021, Senate Bill 199 opens a 2–year “revival window” during which those whose civil claims for childhood sexual abuse were otherwise time–barred can bring lawsuits against the abuse perpetrator and any responsible organizations.

Under North Carolina’s new law:

  • From the date of reaching the age of majority, i.e. age 18, a victim of childhood sexual abuse has 10 years within which to bring a civil action for damages against the perpetrator and any responsible organization. So a victim can bring the action any time prior to the date of his/her 28th birthday.
  • In addition — and not limited by the new 10–year SOL – a victim of childhood sexual abuse may bring a civil action for damages “within 2 years of the date of a criminal conviction for a related felony sexual offense against a defendant for claims related to sexual abuse suffered while the plaintiff was under 18 years of age.”
  • Effective from January 1, 2020 and until December 31, 2021, any civil action for childhood sexual abuse otherwise time–barred may be brought against the perpetrator and any responsible organization.

Charlotte North Carolina Diocese Reviewing Sexual Assault Cases

The North Carolina Diocese of Charlotte has begun a review of its personnel files — some 100,000 pages — in an effort to identify and adjudicate reports of childhood sexual abuse by Diocesan clergy. The Charlotte Diocese comprises 46 counties located in Western North Carolina. According to the Diocese’s vicar general and chancellor, Reverend Patrick Winslow, the review will date back to before 2002 and will be conducted with a “zero tolerance” view of accusations that are deemed “credible.” For this purpose, “credible” means that an accusation “has the semblance of truth” and is “more probable than not.” It’s unclear what individuals will be making such determinations and what the process will be.

Undoubtedly there are many cases of childhood sexual abuse by priests that have not yet been reported. Whether or not the review will include new reports of childhood abuse — regardless of when the abuse occurred — has not been addressed. Moreover, it remains unclear how North Carolina’s recently enacted law that provides a 2 year “revival window” — beginning January 1, 2020 — for victims to bring otherwise time–barred civil claims for monetary damages will affect this review process, the Charlotte Diocese and the other Dioceses in North Carolina. In similar situations nationwide, Dioceses have established independent compensation programs that provide financial compensation to survivors of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy.

Clergy Members Credibly Accused of Abusing Children in North Carolina

The following lists include current or former priests who have been sued and/or suspended following allegations of sexual abuse of minors or have claims against them in the state of North Carolina. We are actively pursuing cases against Catholic priests and clergy as well as figures from other religious institutions.

Important note: If the name of a priest or other member of clergy you are searching for does not appear in the lists below, it does not mean that you do not have a potential claim against that individual. These lists of credibly accused individuals are always expanding as more information is brought forth to the dioceses and to authorities. Please contact us if you or a loved one has been abused by a priest or other clergy member, regardless of whether they appear in the lists below or not.

Diocese of Charlotte8 Named Priests
Diocese of Raleigh16 Named Priests

Diocese of Charlotte

The following is a list of Archdiocese of Charlotte Clergy who have been the objects of legal settlements or otherwise credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor:

  • Charles Jeffries Burton
  • Richard B. Farwell
  • Michael Joseph Kelleher
  • William J. Kuder
  • Patrick Leonard
  • Damion Jacques Lynch
  • Justin Paul Pechulis
  • Robert Yurgel

Diocese of Raleigh

The following is a list of Diocese of Raleigh Clergy who have been the objects of legal settlements or otherwise credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor:

  • Andre Anthony Corbin
  • Peter Denges
  • Hugh Dolan
  • Stephen M. Garrity
  • Giacomo Ghisalberti
  • Albert J. Gondek
  • Jaime Guzman
  • Louis Hanneman
  • John Hyland
  • James E. McSweeney
  • Kenneth R. Parker
  • Francis Andrew "Drew" Perry
  • John Richardson
  • John Richardson
  • Edgar Sepulveda
  • Thomas F. Watkins

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Confidential Inquiry

If you prefer to speak with us directly regarding your incident, please call the Meneo Law Group at 1-888-276-3030 or send us a confidential email.