Spagnoletti & Co. Law Firm recently filed suit on behalf of thirteen individuals who were sexually abused by their priest when they were children in the 1970s. The lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, brings claims against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Society of the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Lafayette and St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church. Each of the Plaintiffs alleges that they were abused by father Kenneth Morvant during the 1970s. Many of the victims served at altar boys at the church. Father Morvant regularly invited the Plaintiffs to the rectory and served them alcohol during the period, before sexually abusing them in various ways.
The lawsuit brings claims for negligence, alleging the following acts and/or omissions of the Defendants:
(a) hiring Father Morvant to work in a position where he was interacting with individuals, including minors; (b) failing to supervise Father Morvant so that he would not pose an unreasonable risk of harm to the parishioners; (c) failing to investigate Father Morvant to ensure he was not committing sexual abuse on minor parishioners; (d) providing Father Morvant with unfettered access to children; and (e) failing to take prompt remedial action by notifying parishioners that their children had been exposed to a known or suspected pedophile so that, among other things, the victims of Father Morvant could receive mental health treatment to prevent any further harm to themselves
The Plaintiffs are represented at the firm by Eric J. Rhine.
Any time young children are placed in a dangerous situation, where someone acting under the cloak of authority can take advantage of them, safety considerations must be paramount. Safe religious institutions must have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of their parishioners, especially minors. This is what the custom and practice of the industry requires. All reasonable and appropriate efforts to provide a safe environment must be taken.
The experienced lawyers at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you were the victim of sexual abuse. There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-659-0257 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your rights.