Millions of people in the United States attend religious services every single week. This massive amount of people are interacting with religious leaders on a regular basis, but there are some things they might not realize about certain clergy members: sexual abuse lawsuits.
Religious or not, people need complete transparency when it comes to the names and locations of clergy members who have been involved in sexual abuse cases. Fortunately, victims, members of congregations, or concerned citizens have access to numerous databases of clergy members that have been involved in sex abuse lawsuits throughout the country.
The names of those involved in these heinous crimes, as well as their organization and a bit about their case, are public and free to access. Below are a few places you can find lists of clergy members involved in sexual abuse lawsuits, and even convicted, in the United States. (Please remember that none of these lists are fully exhaustive, and simply serve as a resource.)
This website is dedicated to listing clergy members, priests, and bishops across the country that have been accused of sexual abuse. Bishop Accountability was created when its founders realized that the evidence of abuse is vast, but usually scattered. It’s for this reason that they strive “to assemble on the Internet a collection of every publicly available document and report on the crisis,” as outlined on their website.
Bishop Accountability provides an interactive map of the United States, where visitors can simply click on a specific state to see names of clergy involved in sexual abuse lawsuits there. Website visitors can also search accused priests by last name, if that’s more convenient.
In addition to seeing the names of accused clergy members, you can dive into the information accumulated about various cases through copies of affidavits and investigative reports. There is no shortage of information on Bishop Accountability’s website.
ProPublica is “an independent, nonprofit newsroom” that prioritizes “shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust,” according to their website. This mission fits perfectly into the ongoing effort to document and publicize information about clergy members who have committed sexual abuse crimes against children.
ProPublica’s team invested months into scouring databases from around the country to assemble one, nationwide database of clergy members that were credibly accused of sexual abuse against children. Their list currently contains thousands of priests and is updated when new accusations arise. Not only does ProPublica include the names of those accused, but they highlight dioceses that have not released any names. This can be a red flag, because it might indicate that they are covering up cases of sexual abuse in their diocese.
Merson Law offers an extensive list of “Roman Catholic priests and clergy members accused of sex abuse and/or sexual assault of minors” on their website. They make sure to clarify, though, that the names on the list are of those accused and not yet convicted. As a legal organization, we too would like to remind readers that in the United States, all parties are innocent until proven guilty.
The list on Merson Law’s website is divided by state, making it convenient for people looking for a specific area. Once you click on the state you’re searching for, the priests and clergy members on the list are organized in alphabetical order by last name. Beside each name is their diocese as well as notes about their case. It’s a great resource to see not only who they are, but when and where they served, and what they were accused of. You can also see if the accusation resulted in a lawsuit and/or settlement.
AbuseLawsuit.com features a list of 6,000+ names of people who’ve faced allegations of clergy sex abuse. The website offers numerous ways to navigate its massive database: you can search by name, filter by state, narrow down the results to a specific diocese, or simply click the clergy member’s last initial to get a full list of others with the same one. Having multiple search options like this makes it easier for people searching for a name they may not remember very well.
AbuseLawsuit.com also has specific, more detailed web pages for certain states that have experienced a significant amount of clergy sexual abuse. They have individual state pages for Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Vermont. These pages outline state-specific legislation that affects victims, information about each state’s statute of limitations, and some information about the settlements in that state. There is no shortage of information on this website!
Individual States or Dioceses
Lastly, if you want to know of clergy members accused of abuse in specific states or dioceses, try doing a specific search just for them. Narrowing down your options to a more particular goal can make huge databases seem a bit less daunting. In addition to making the search a little bit easier, you may be able to find more in-depth information about the accused clergy members than a list of thousands of people could provide.
Another benefit of searching by individual states or dioceses is that you can get other relevant results in addition to just names. When you narrow down your search, results may include online news articles about the cases in that state, which will give you more information than some databases can. News articles about certain dioceses or priests can tell you specific details of each case and share direct quotes from those involved. This can be fascinating information to give you a full view of the case.
As you can see, there are numerous resources out there that provide the names of clergy members credibly accused of sex abuse. No single resource is exhaustive, so it’ll serve you well to search more than one in order to get all the possible information you may need.
Thousands of people around the country have painstakingly worked to put these resources together, since they believe so deeply in shedding light on sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members. It’s important that these abusive predators are held accountable, and that their names are public information accessible by anyone who wants to be aware of what has gone on in their own community.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member, please submit your free claim review at www.stopsexpredators.com. We can provide a free case review and get you started on the path to justice.