The Roman Catholic Church remains the leading religious organization worldwide. Most of the congregation is drawn to the Church’s beliefs in God, Holy Communion, and the holy rosary under the guidance of Pope Francis and religious orders.
Many clergy members guide parishioners using the high standards to instruct the faithful along their spiritual journey. Sadly, many parish priests, deacons, brothers, and other clergy members abuse the Church’s power to sexually assault others.
For centuries, Church officials have hidden away valuable evidence of predator priests allowed access to children and young adults in the congregation. Only recently have Pope John II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis released evidence of credible allegations against priests and other clergy members accused of sexual misconduct.
Diocese of Camden Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Many sexually abused survivors are stepping forward to use lawsuits to hold the Catholic Church accountable for hiding evidence of predator priests who have committed heinous crimes against children. These efforts not only free victims from their silence but protect innocent children and young adults in the years ahead.
The compassionate attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC use the law to fight back against the Church that, for years, has failed to protect young parishioners from sexual abuse. With our years of experience, our legal team serves as advocates for the innocent and hold the predator priests accountable for every sexual crime they have committed.
If the Catholic clergy member sexually abused you, contact our law firm before the statute of limitations expires. Let us listen to your horrific story in a confidential setting. We can provide immediate legal advice on how to move your case forward to ensure you are adequately compensated for your damages.
Camden Diocese’s Reveals Names of Sex Offending Priests
In February 2019, the Diocese of Camden released the names of fifty-seven religious leaders, including a deacon that were credibly accused of sexually molesting underage children. Camden Diocese Bishop Sullivan described the actions of the predator priests as the “darkest stain on the Catholic Church in the last century.”
The Bishop of Camden stated that the religious abusers preyed on young male teens during the 1970s and 1980s, with the last known cases occurring in 1995. Only nineteen of the fifty-seven clergymen on the list are still alive.
These men ministered to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden congregation at numerous parishes across six counties in South Jersey to 475,000 Catholics under the guidance of Bishop Dennis Sullivan.
The Diocese of Camden provides religious guidance to Catholics in cities that include Atlantic City, Blackwood, Berlin, Camden, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, Clayton, Collingswood, Galloway, Gibbstown, Gloucester, Haddon Heights, Haddonfield, Hammonton, Jersey City, Mays Landing, Merchantville, Pennsauken, Richland, Runnemede, Somers Point, Stratford, Vineland, Woodberry, Wildwood, Williamstown, Woodbury Heights.
Predators in Our Midst
The Diocese of Trenton also released a similar list identifying thirty priests among their congregation, including in Burlington County. Church officials recently disclosed a new incident involving a priest last year. The report identified Father John Bohrer as a predator priest. Church officials removed the Reverend from active ministry after an allegation was revealed of sexual misconduct during the 1970s.
When the seventy-four-year-old priest was removed, he was serving as an administrator at the Collingswood, NJ Saint Teresa of Calcutta Church. However, the alleged incident of sexual misconduct occurred when Bohrer was assigned to the Cherry Hill, NJ Saint Pius X Parish.
Resolving Sexual Assault Cases
Incidents of sexual molestation remain a severe problem among Catholic communities worldwide. In recent years, church officials throughout the United States have resolved thousands of cases through negotiated settlements and jury trials.
Nationwide, the Roman Catholic Church has paid out awards and settlements totaling more than $3.8 billion to the sexually abused who were injured by the Catholic clergy.
Often, Catholic priests, nuns, bishops, cardinals, and other religious leaders use their authority to take advantage of a young adult or innocent child’s vulnerability.
The rate of sexual abuse of minors in the organization occurred in all different venues, including places of worship, Christian summer camps, daycare centers, Bible study classes, Sunday schools, sporting events, and academic settings.
Victims Are Scared into Silence
Many sexual assault survivors remain traumatized for years or decades, reliving the unwanted sodomy, rape, inappropriate touching, oral sex, or molestation they experienced by a religious leader, layperson, coach, or teacher.
Often, the predator will use fear tactics and personal attacks to scare the alleged victim into silence. The intimidated survivors of clergy abuse are often terrified of what the priest will do to them next should they tell anyone what happened.
It often takes years or decades for the traumatized child or young adult to tell others what occurred. In some cases, the victim never confronts their abuser or tells others in the congregation that a predator remains in their midst. It takes incredible bravery to speak up, steps forward, and fight the authority of the Roman Catholic Church that wants to hide the evidence and shame the victim. Not every injured sexually assaulted survivor can fight back alone.
Holding the Diocese Accountable
Over the last two decades, many alleged abuse victims have identified predator priests and speak about the Reverend’s inappropriate sexual conduct. Currently, the New Jersey Roman Catholic Church lists identify more than 250 priests, Bishops, and other religious leaders throughout the state who have been accused, charged, convicted, or pled guilty to sexual assault.
Most of their victims were innocent children, young adults, and those with diminished capacity. Many of these abusers sought out more than one victim to molest. A few priests and brothers have raped and assaulted hundreds of innocent souls.
Of the more than 250 priests listed on the New Jersey list of clergy abusers, dozens of those predator priests were assigned to the Diocese of Camden. The remainder worked in the Catholic dioceses other than Camden, including:
- Archdiocese of Newark
- Diocese of Trenton
- Diocese of Metuchen
- Diocese of Paterson
Surviving Sexual Abuse
Nearly all survivors of sexual abuse deal with the repercussions of the trauma that can last for years or decades. Some survivors will never display the indicators associated with molestation. However, others might express characteristics associated with sexual assault that include:
- Deep depression
- Anger problems
- Participating in criminal activity
- Display of nonsocial behavior
- Unexplained negative changes in their personality
- Unusual sexual behavior
- Inappropriate sexual contact
Some of the survivors suffer from an internal conflict because the priest sexually harmed them at a place of solace, like their church or school. Other victims were sexually assaulted by the clergy during their participation in school activities, on field trips, or when working as an altar boy.
Potential New Jersey Charges for Sex Crimes
The laws of New Jersey define consent for sexual activity to determine if abuse or molestation occurred. Participating in sexual activity, from fondling and harassment to sodomy and rape, without legal consent from the victim is a crime.
Children fifteen years and younger cannot legally give consent for sexual activity under New Jersey statutes (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:14-2(c)(3)). If the sexually abused has a developmental disability or mental incapacity, their ability to provide consent for sexual activity is impacted. Any individual who was unconscious, drunk, drugged, or mentally incapacitated cannot give consent for sex or sexual activity.
The New Jersey state court legal system might hold the predator priest on one or more charges of inappropriate sexual contact that could include:
- Human trafficking
- Sexual abuse
- Statutory rape
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Sexual harassment
- Criminal sexual contact
- Aggravated criminal sexual contact
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Rape sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
Based on the severity of the crime, an accused priest found guilty or pleading guilty to the charges could receive probation, thirty days to one year in jail, or up to twenty years (aggravated sexual assault, first degree) in prison for each charge.
If your loved one, friend, or family member was sexually assaulted by the cardinal, bishop, parish pastor, priest, or another religious member, it is crucial to protect them through legal action. Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer is the first step to protecting their rights.
The actions of an attorney working on the victim’s behalf can hold the Catholic priests legally accountable for their horrific unspeakable acts that caused your loved one so much pain.
Hiring A Camden Diocese Sexual Assault Attorney
Do you suspect that a priest or other religious leader molested, sodomized, raped, or injured your loved one through sexual abuse? If so, contact a Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today. Let our team of dedicated, compassionate attorneys discuss your case in a confidential setting.
We can provide numerous legal options on how to move your case forward. With a New Jersey church sexual abuse lawyer on your side, we can successfully resolve your financial compensation claim.
Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and sexual abuse civil lawsuits through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement ensures you will never pay for services until we have successfully resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.
We accept every case involving predator religious leaders who are listed as “in ministry,” on a leave of absence, laicized (removed from the priesthood) retired from ministering, or dead.