Maryland Sex Crimes: Priest/Minister/Spiritual Advisor

Maryland Sex Crimes: Priest/Minister/Spiritual Advisor

A priest who once worked at Loyola University Maryland was removed from his ministry duties in Pennsylvania after allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with two minors surfaced, according to news reports.

It’s been reported that three leaders of a Prince George’s County based-church, including one man who is a US Capitol police officer, have been accused of sexually abusing four teenagers sometime between 2001 and 2008.

A famous news anchor has said that he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest while he was a high school student living in Towson. The accused abuser pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse charges and received a five-year jail sentence with all but eighteen months suspended in February 2006.

Allegations such as these are the latest in a string of claimed sexual abuses in Maryland by those who are expected to provide spiritual comfort and advice.

The Catholic Church, which has faced criticism and numerous headlines over the past several years on the issue, isn’t alone in grappling with sexual abuse. It occurs in all religions and faiths. A study indicates that 10 to 20 percent of all clergy, that includes priests, ministers, pastors, imams and rabbis, have had sexual contact and involvement with their followers.

One of the elements important to those who report child sexual abuse in Maryland sexual is a recent change in the statutes of limitations for bringing forward such claims. Maryland enacted a law in April 2017 that extends the deadline for victims of sexual abuse to take offenders and the institutions involved to court.

The law extends the statute of limitations to age 38. Previously in Maryland, a person who was abused while under the age of 18 had until the age of 25 to file a lawsuit. Now, a victim has until the age of 38.

The new time limit for Maryland child sex abuse victims to sue went into effect on October 1, 2017.

The Maryland state legislator who sponsored the law has said he was a victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of his foster father.

The longer time limit for making a claim is especially important in instances of sexual abuse by a trusted Maryland spiritual advisor or member of a religious institution. Many people are hesitant to step forward to make a claim because of the trust they have in their schools and places of worship and the standing the institutions have in the neighborhood. The law was put into place after the recognition that many victims of child sex abuse need time to process what happened to them before taking action against their abusers.

The new law also deals with the question of whether it applies to victims whose lawsuits were blocked by the old statute of limitations. The law does not apply to any victim whose claim would have been barred before the law went into effect. This means that the law does not apply to any victim who turned 25 prior to October 1, 2017. But, Maryland’s highest court has held that the law extends the statute of limitations for anyone whose claim had not expired on the effective date. So, a victim who turns 25 on October 2, 2017 or anytime thereafter will have until he or she is 38 to take legal action.

If you are the victim of a sex abuse crime in Maryland, you should talk to a Baltimore child sex abuse attorney. A Baltimore child sex abuse lawyer can help you to win your case and get the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience handling these cases. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.934.3007 or via our website for a free consultation.