Sexual abuse allegations have rocked many religious organizations throughout the United States over the last few decades. Most of these allegations center on sexual actions taken by members of the clergy towards teenagers and young children. Many religious institutions have actively worked to cover up the number of allegations they face. They have even allowed those accused of sexual abuse of children to remain active clergy members. At Heenan & Cook, PLLC, we are ready to help any victim of child sexual abuse recover the compensation they are entitled to.
How will Heenan & Cook, PLLC help this case?
If you or a loved one have been the victim of sexual abuse, you need to secure an attorney with vast experience handling these types of cases. At Heenan & Cook, PLLC, we are ready to help.
- Our attorneys are fully dedicated to each client, and we take the time to listen to their story formulate a strategy that meets their needs.
- We conduct full investigations into each case that we take so we can confidently proceed forward in negotiations or a trial.
- Our firm takes child sexual abuse cases on a contingency fee basis, which means our client owe no legal fees until we secure the compensation they need through a settlement or verdict.
Understanding the clergy abuse problem
Childhood sexual abuse can have dramatic effects on victims of the abuse while they are still children as well as into adulthood. Members of the clergy are in positions of trust, and a violation of that trust caused by sexual abuse is abhorrent.
Survivors of child sexual abuse often experience physical, sexual, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that can affect their everyday lives.
What is the statute of limitations for these cases?
A recent change to Montana’s child sexual abuse laws has lifted the statute of limitations for prosecuting such crimes. The bill was signed by Gov. Steve Bullock and took effect in May of 2019. Part of this law included opening a one-year window of opportunity for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against their abuser, even if the statute of limitations has otherwise expired.
- Please note that this one-year lookback period will expire on May 6, 2020, and has various stipulations in place. Please speak to your Montana child sexual abuse attorney for guidance.
In Montana, all victims of child sexual abuse have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit against their abuser. This includes whichever expires later out of the following:
- A 9-year window from the age a victim turns 18 through the age of 27.
- A victim has three years to bring a civil action against the perpetrators of their abuse beginning from the date the victim discovers the abuse occurred or from when the victim should reasonably have discovered an injury caused by the act of childhood sexual abuse.
What kind of compensation are you entitled to?
If you or somebody you love has been sexually abused by a member of the clergy, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Heenan & Cook, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping victims of child sexual abuse recover the compensation they deserve. This can include:
- Pain and suffering damages
- Compensation for any counseling that is necessary
- Punitive damages against the perpetrator(s) of the abuse
- Punitive damages against any organization that covered up the abuse