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Illinois Dioceses Allegedly Withheld Names of at Least 500 Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

hurt child

Photo Credit: Suzanne Tucker /

Victims of childhood sexual abuse in Illinois may find the legal system daunting in addition to dealing with the trauma of the abuse they have suffered. Indeed, many different laws and standards can apply in a case. Under Illinois’s Code of Civil Procedure, sexual abuse includes but is not limited to sexual conduct and sexual penetration as defined in the Criminal Code. Childhood Sexual Abuse is defined as “an act of sexual abuse” when the abused person is under 18 years old. Generally, a claim based on childhood sexual abuse must be filed within 20 years of the date the statute of limitations began to run, or within 20 years of the date the victim discovers or should discover both “that the act of childhood sexual abuse occurred” and “that the injury was caused by the childhood sexual abuse.”

In 2017, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children. The law applies to future cases as well as then-current cases in which the old statute of limitations had not yet expired. Before the change in the law, most serious sexual offenses against children had to be prosecuted within 20 years of the survivor turning 18 years old. Although the statute of limitations is shorter for civil cases, there are several exceptions that may extend the statute of limitations. If you were the victim of abuse and have questions about the timing of filing a case, reach out to a dedicated Illinois sexual abuse attorney.

Catholic Church Failed to Disclose Names of Priests Accused of Abuse

Illinois’s Attorney General announced this week that six Catholic dioceses in the state did not disclose the names of at least 500 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, according to one news source. The state’s investigation was sparked by a Pennsylvania grand jury report that found there were 300 “predator priests” in that state.

According to the Illinois Attorney General’s office, the dioceses in Illinois have publicly identified 185 priests who were “credibly” accused of sexually abusing children, but the dioceses have received accusations against at least 500 other priests. The State said that many of those accusations were not thoroughly investigated or brought to the attention of the authorities.

The Illinois Attorney General stated that the Catholic Church “failed in its moral obligation” to provide the public with information about all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in the state by failing to investigate allegations thoroughly. The grand jury report in Pennsylvania was the result of a two-year investigation, which found that the cover-up to protect leaders in the church reached all the way to the Vatican.

Vigorous Legal Advocates for Injury Victims

If you want to speak to an experienced attorney about your claim, contact Moll Law Group. Moll Law Group is committed to zealously representing injured victims throughout the Chicago area. We seek the best possible verdicts and settlements for our clients, while at the same time advocating for social change by changing laws and banning unsafe products. The Chicago clergy sexual abuse attorneys at Moll Law Group can guide you through your claim, no matter the extent of your injuries. Call us at 312-462-1700 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation with an attorney.

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