• Medical bills
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of wages or earning potential
• Emotional trauma
• Post-traumatic stress
• Anxiety or depression
• Embarrassment and shame surrounding the incident
• Denial of what happened or minimizing the severity of the crime
• Fear of retribution through physical, financial, and emotional harm
• Concern that law enforcement will not take an accusation seriously or handle it appropriately
Any of these thoughts can keep survivors of sexual offenses from speaking out.
Clergy Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other religious leaders in the United States and elsewhere have been reported for decades. Besides child abuse, there have also been revelations of widespread clergy sexual abuse of vulnerable adults. These acts are especially sinister because the perpetrators hold positions of trust over those who may have less emotional strength and spiritual power. For survivors of clergy abuse, the often life-long physical, mental, and emotional trauma compromises their faith.
More than 18,000 survivors have come forward with stories of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. Attorneys General in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and several other states have opened investigations into clergy abuse and cover-ups by the Catholic Church.
In Michigan, Attorney General Dana Nessel is comprehensively investigating Catholic clergy sexual abuse in the state. The investigation has resulted in two convictions, and nearly a dozen people have been charged. Nessel’s investigation has identified 270 priests accused of abusing 552 victims.
The Sommers Schwartz team helps those sexually abused by their trusted clergyman seek justice. We take every measure to protect the privacy of these survivors while holding the church and priests accountable. It is also imperative systems are developed to ensure that this widespread abuse does not happen again.
Confidential settlement on behalf of eight young women who alleged they were sexually assaulted and harassed by their teacher.
Sexual Abuse by Coaches
Coaches play important and influential roles in the lives of children and young adults. Like doctors and priests, coaches exert power and control in our lives. Athletes spend their early years taking direction from coaches without question. They are taught that they need to conform and not to disrupt the team that has become their second family. This power dynamic makes young athletes vulnerable to grooming techniques often employed by abusers to create trust and secrecy.
In just the last decade, we have seen several instances of coaching abuse at all ages and levels of sport. For example, the Penn State child sex abuse scandal resulted in the 2012 conviction of Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach for the Penn State football team. Sandusky was indicted on 52 counts of child molestation, which resulted in a minimum 30-year sentence. The first alleged instance of his misconduct was in 1998.
More recently, brave athletes stepped forward to reveal sexual abuse by Larry Nassar at Michigan State University and Richard Strauss at Ohio State University. Nassar has been accused of sexually assaulting several hundred gymnasts and other female athletes as far back as 1992. Strauss, employed by Ohio State University’s Athletics Department, has been accused of abusing at least 177 male student-patients, including numerous male wrestlers.
Sadly, the pattern has shown that, all too often, it takes multiple complaints and multiple acts of misconduct before charges are brought against sexual predators. With the #MeToo movement, we hope this will change.
The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz have experience holding sexually abusive coaches and their employers accountable for their wrongdoing. Please contact us so we can obtain justice for you.
We know your legal rights, and we will protect them as if we were fighting for our own families
Why Choose a Sommers Schwartz Sexual Abuse Lawyer?
The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz stand with survivors of sexual abuse and assault. We are not afraid to fight for what is right and will confront even the most prominent institutions and individuals if they are somehow responsible for or complicit in sexual offenses.
We promise to use the depth of our experience and tireless commitment to secure the compensation and resources that can help you move forward. Our team is accomplished, sensitive, caring, and ready to take down those who have committed these terrible crimes against you or your loved one.
Sommers Schwartz senior shareholder Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller is one of our sexual assault and abuse attorneys. Contact her to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case in complete confidence and to learn more about the services we provide and how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation. The phone call to 866-335-9517 is free, and because we work on a contingent-fee basis, you will not receive a bill for our representation unless we win your case.