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November 27, 2020

Sex Abuse by New York Clergy: Can I Sue?

In New York, many people have recently come forward to fight for legal changes to the way sex abuse is handled in civil lawsuits. If you were abused by a priest or other clergy member, you may now be eligible to take action. 

Many people who suffered through sex abuse by the New York clergy are now asking, “Can I sue?” As laws change over time, answers to questions like these aren’t always straightforward. Fortunately, the right attorney can help you file a claim and seek out compensation for sexual abuse.

Changes to New York Sex Abuse Law

If you’ve been abused by a priest in New York, you may have new opportunities to file a claim and seek compensation for your suffering. Recently, lawmakers passed the New York’s Child Victims Act, which gives abuse victims renewed opportunities to file claims. 

Originally, filing a claim required filing a notice of claim with the responsible party, which has barred many people from filing a lawsuit in the past. This notice of claim requirement has been completely eliminated. 

Victims of child sexual abuse also had a short time limit to file their claims. Now, though, victims under fifty-five are able to file their claims, and for one year following the act’s passing, those over fifty-five are also able to file lawsuits against their abusers. 

Proving Your Claim

Many people, especially those whose suffering happened decades ago, may be concerned about proving that they were abused by a priest. You may worry that your claim won’t be heard if you don’t have physical evidence of your abuse. 

However, there are other ways to prove your claim in a sexual abuse case. In these cases, your testimony will be a key part of the case. It may also help your claim if there was a criminal trial, or if other victims of your abuser have come forward to share similar stories.

Keep in mind, too, that civil lawsuits don’t require the same burden of proof that criminal trials have. Although a criminal case requires proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a civil lawsuit requires you to prove that they more likely than not committed the sexual abuse. Your New York clergy abuse lawyer can help you build your claim and prove that. 

Contact a Lawyer on Suing for Sex Abuse

If you’ve suffered sexual abuse by a member of the New York clergy, you may have grounds to sue them for your suffering. Unfortunately, that isn’t easy. Not only are you dealing with the emotional trauma of your experience, but you’re also facing new laws, which can be confusing and difficult to follow. 

At Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP, we understand that a child sexual abuse claim can be a difficult, complicated claim. Although these new laws can help you, it’s not easy to face your claim on your own. Our attorneys from our firm can offer you a free consultation, so we can talk about your options for compensation before you file a claim. Get started by calling 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or by filling out the online form below.