Deadline to file Claim against Archdiocese of Baltimore and its Employees is May 31, 2024

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The Archdiocese of Baltimore is the oldest Catholic Archdiocese in the United States, and it has always had a particularly close relationship with the City of Baltimore and its people. The Archdiocese’s prominence in Baltimore is exactly what allowed its clergy members to sexually abuse hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children over at least six decades and escape culpability. The Archdiocese exercised its power and image of trustworthiness in the Baltimore community to engage in extensive cover-ups of the sexual abuse that it knew its clergy members were committing.

Although survivors and witnesses of abuse reported abuse dozens of priests and other employees of the Archdiocese Catholic school system as early as the 1940’s, it was not until 2002, reports of widespread abuse by the Archdiocese of Baltimore began in 2002 after the Boston Globe’s landmark investigation into their city’s rampant clergy abuse, that a closer look at Baltimore began. Although the Baltimore Sun began to publish the names of priests suspected of abusing children, the Archdiocese as an entity was never properly held accountable, with only a few of those allegations being settled confidentially out of court. Instead, the Archdiocese continued a plan of denial cover-up and moving suspected priests to other parishes.

However, in April of 2023, following a four-year long investigation, the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland released a 463-page report that detailed hundreds, maybe thousands, of instances of sexual abuse within the Archdiocese. Specifically, 156 clergy members and others were named in the report as abusers, and over 600 different victims were mentioned, with the earliest reports of abuse dating back to the 1940s. The report not only revealed the appalling details of the abuse, but also a complex system of cover-up perpetuated by powerful members of the Archdiocese hierarchy who had known about the abuse for years. The MD Attorney General released an updated version of the report on September 26, 2023, with additional unredacted names which had been previously withheld.

The Baltimore Sun recently released public searchable database of all the clergy members in the MD Attorney General’s report as well as an additional 107 names not previously included in the reports. Members of the public can easily search for the name of an abuser.

Significant Events Timeline

  • April 4, 2023: The Office of the Attorney General of Maryland releases the first version of their report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore
  • April 11, 2023: Governor Wes Moore signs the Child Victims Act into law, eliminating the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. This means that victims may file claims regardless of how long ago the abuse may have occurred. Please find more details about the CVA below.
  • September 26, 2023: The Office of the Attorney General of Maryland releases an updated version of their report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore which includes additional names.
  • November 2023: The Archdiocese of Baltimore files for bankruptcy protection.
  • December 18, 2023: The bankruptcy judge sets a bar date of May 31, 2024. This means that all claims must be filed before this date, or else there will not be another opportunity for you to hold the Archdiocese accountable and receive compensation. May 31, 2024, is the hard deadline for filing claims.

Child Victims Act

Just days after the MD Attorney General’s Office released its initial edition of the report, Governor Wes Moore signed the Child Victim’s Act into law. The Child Victim’s Act dissolves the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. This means that survivors of child sex abuse can file civil lawsuits against their abusers despite any passage of time since the abuse occurred. Before the Child Victims Act was signed into law, victims of child sex abuse would not be able to file a civil case against their abusers after a certain number of years had elapsed since the date of the abuse. The Child Victims Act does not only apply to Archdiocese cases – it applies to all child sex abuse cases. If you or a loved one are a victim of child sex abuse, you now have the opportunity to obtain justice and compensation, no matter how long ago it may have occurred.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Bankruptcy and Bar Date

The Archdiocese successfully filed for Bankruptcy. This means that all clergy abuse cases will be adjudicated in bankruptcy court instead of a traditional civil court. Critics have accused the Archdiocese of attempting to hide assets and to avoid meaningful accountability by filing for bankruptcy, however the Archdiocese maintains that bankruptcy proceedings are the only efficient way to handle the large number of claims. Although the Archdiocese of Baltimore has publicly stated it will not challenge the constitutionality of the Child Victim’s Act, the Archdiocese of Washington has challenged the Act. Critics have suggested having the Archdiocese of Washington challenge the law was always the Archdioceses of Baltimore’s plan. Whatever the case may be, claims against the Archdiocese of Baltimore must be filed by May 31, 2024. Claimants may remain anonymous.

A bar date of May 31, 2024, has been established for victims. This means that the deadline for filing a claim against the Archdiocese is May 31, 2024. If you or a loved one have been sexually abused by a member of the clergy and want to seek justice, you must file a claim before May 31, 2024.

What kind of Conduct is Considered Clergy Abuse?

  • Sexual harassment
  • Any sexual touching or indecent actions
  • Attempted rape
  • Rape
  • Coercion for sexual acts
  • Photographing and recording sexual activities
  • Showing pornographic or sexual materials to minors
  • Any physical abuse or assault in connection with sexual purposes

List of Maryland Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

A total of 161 individuals were identified as abusers within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Some names have been removed to comply with legal orders on the matter.

  • Father Louis Affrica
  • Father James Avant
  • Father Bruce Ball
  • Father John Banko
  • Father Michael Barnes
  • Father Thomas Bauernfeind
  • Father Vincent Bechtel
  • Father Ronald Belschner
  • Father Thomas Bevan
  • Father Maurice Blackwell
  • Father Louis Bonacci
  • Father John Bostwick
  • Father H. Cornell Bradley
  • Father William Braun
  • Father Laurence Brett
  • Father Frederick Brinkmann
  • Father Stephen Brotzman
  • Father Wayland Brown
  • Father Gerard Bugge
  • Father Robert Callahan
  • Father John Carney
  • Father John Corbett
  • Father Brian Cox
  • Father Charles Coyle
  • Father Fernando Cristancho
  • Father Robert Cullen
  • Father Joseph Davies
  • Father Richard Deakin
  • Father Alfred Dean
  • Father Donald Dimitroff
  • Father Francis Dolan
  • Father James Dolan
  • Father Robert Duerr
  • Father John Duggan1
  • Father Frederick Duke
  • Father Frederick Duke
  • Father Walter Emala
  • Father Francis Ernst
  • Father Luigi Esposito
  • Father Terence Evans
  • Father Alfred Ewanowski
  • Father Thomas F. Kelly
  • Father Kenneth Farabaugh
  • Father Alphonsus Figlewski
  • Father Joseph Firlie
  • Father Carl Fisher
  • Father Theonella Flood
  • Father Daniel Free
  • Father Joseph Gallagher
  • Father Steven Girard
  • Father Joseph Greg
  • Father Mark Haight
  • Father John Hammer
  • Father Edward Heilman
  • Father Marion Helowicz
  • Father Jospeh Hill
  • Father Robert Hiltz
  • Father George Hopkins
  • Father Joseph Hopkins
  • Father Robert Hopkins
  • Father William Jameson
  • Father Albert Julian
  • Father John Justice
  • Father Jospeh Kenney
  • Father Simon Kenny
  • Father Paul Knapp
  • Father Michael Kolodziej
  • Father Joseph Krach
  • Father William “Jay” Krouse
  • Father Jospeh Krouse
  • Deacon Thomas Kuhl
  • Father Ross La Porta
  • Father Michael LaMountain
  • Brother Xavier Langan
  • Father James Lannon
  • Father Regis Larkin
  • Father David Leary
  • Father Francis LeFevre
  • Father Robert Lentz
  • Father John Lippold
  • Father Robert John Lochner
  • Father Anthony Lorento
  • Father George Loskarn
  • Father Thomas M. Kelly
  • Father Edward Neil Magnus
  • Father Ronald Mardaga
  • Father Kenneth Martin
  • Father Joseph Maskell
  • Father Benedict Mawn
  • Father Constastine McCarthy
  • Father William McCrory
  • Father Francis McGrath
  • Father Eugune McGuire
  • Patrick McIntyre
  • Brother Lawrence Meegen
  • Father Raymond Melville
  • Father John Merzbacher
  • Father Joseph Messer
  • Father Ronald Michaud
  • Father William Migliorini
  • Father John Mike
  • Father Jerome Moody
  • Brother Eugene Morgan
  • Brother William Morgan
  • Father John Mountain
  • Father Timothy Murphy
  • Father J. Glenn Murray
  • Father Robert Newman
  • Deacon Leo O’Hara
  • Father Henry O’Toole
  • Father Garrett Orr
  • Father John Padian
  • Father John Peacock
  • Father Dennis Pecore
  • Father Adrian Poletti
  • Eric Price
  • Father Blair Raum
  • Brother Thomas Rochacewicz
  • Father Francis Roscetti
  • Father Charles Rouse
  • Brother Marius John Shine
  • Father William Simms
  • Father David Smith
  • Monsignor Richard Smith
  • Father Thomas Smith
  • Father Michael Spillane
  • Father Edmund Stroup
  • Brother Cuthbert Sullivan
  • Father Francis Sweeney
  • Father Alcuin Tasch
  • Brother Cuthbert/Joseph Thibault
  • Brother Thomas Tomasunas
  • Father Jerome Toohey
  • Father James Toulas
  • Father Gerald Tragesser
  • Father Jorge Velez-Lopez
  • Father Francis Wagner
  • Father William Walsh
  • Father William Wehrle
  • Monsignor Thomas Whelan
  • Father John Wielebski
  • Monsignor Roger Wooden
  • Father Howard Yeakle
  • Sister Francis Yocum
  • Monsignor Henry Zerhusen

Confidential Consultation

If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, now is the time to seek justice. At the Law Office of Markey & Orsi, we combine decades of experience and proven results with enthusiastic care for our clients to ensure the most effective legal representation possible. Clergy abuse cases are understandably difficult to discuss, therefore we can guarantee a confidential consultation for victims who are seeking to hold the Archdiocese accountable.

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