A sweeping investigation from the Maryland attorney general reveals hundreds of young people were sexually abused by clergy from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland.
In recent decades, the revelation of pain, abuse, and shame wrought by clergy around the world upon countless victims has made its way into headlines and everyday conversation. In the United States, dioceses across the country acted quickly when learning of child abusers within their ranks. Instead of exposing physical and sexual crimes, powerful church authorities protected the accused, covered up evidence, and shamed victims. From the late 1990s, a firestorm of media ignited cases against the Catholic church as some victims finally found safe ground to report what had happened to them as children or young adults.
Since then, the Catholic church has settled large civil cases across the country and its clergy named in criminal matters in some of those venues, including California, Texas, Kentucky, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and now Maryland. In November 2022, the Maryland Attorney General, Brian Frosh, filed a 35-page Motion to Disclose with the court to release the 456-page report, “Clergy Abuse in Maryland,” which resulted from a three-year investigation by his office. Because the voluminous report includes evidence obtained through grand jury subpoena, the Attorney General’s office is required to obtain court permission to make the report public. The archdiocese has signaled it will not oppose the release of the report.
In early December, the entirety of records surrounding the case, including the report and earlier public reports, were sealed by a Circuit Court judge in Baltimore. The record and the report were sealed pursuant to request by legal counsel for anonymous individuals named in the report who were not named as abusers. The file will remain sealed until a judge rules on the Motion, likely after further information is heard from the parties who moved to seal the record.
The Motion to Disclose filed by the attorney general “summarizes the sexual abuse and physical torture perpetrated by all 158 identified priests and the Archdiocese’s response to that abuse.” The Motion asserts girls and boys, from preschool age through young adulthood were abused. In a strikingly tragic comment, the Motion states “…no parish was safe, some congregations and schools were assigned multiple abusive priests…”
The Motion describes how the archdiocese responded to decades of systemic sexual abuse of its young people. The church failed to report the allegations of abuse, covered up evidence, kept the abuse secret, and utterly failed to remove the perpetrators from settings where they could further abuse children and others.
The shocking nature of the investigation pales in comparison to the pain and damage inflicted upon its victims. As plainly stated in its Motion, “The consequences of the Archdiocese’s actions are immeasurable. The investigation identified over 600 victims. There are almost certainly hundreds more…”
The trauma of sexual and physical abuse is far-reaching. If you were victimized by clergy in Baltimore, or elsewhere, our law firm has built a legacy of success obtaining compensation from institutions and individuals responsible for the hurt, pain, and injury suffered by the clients we represent.
Contact Schochor and Staton, PA if you suffered clergy sexual abuse in Baltimore, Maryland or across the United States
Schochor and Staton, PA is an award-winning law firm dedicated to obtaining compensation for clients and their families who have experienced abuse and injury at the hands of those in whom they placed their trust. If you are a survivor, reach out to 410-234-1000 or contact us today. We can help.