A Pennsylvania Grand Jury report in August, 2018 identified more than 300 clergy accused of sexual abuse of more than 1,000 child victims over several decades. Two hundred seventy (270) names were released to the public in that report. Comments of Attorney Josh Shapiro, in the wake of the Grand Jury findings, emphasized the horrific nature of this sexual abuse.
The Diocese of Scranton recently announced the formation of the “Independent Survivor Compensation Program” to make compensation payments to victims of clergy sexual abuse of minors. Notably, the Scranton Diocese program has a larger scope of abuse than other Diocesan programs — specifically, individuals abused as minors by clergy, lay teachers, or employees of the Diocese are eligible for the program.
The program is purely voluntary. No victim is required to participate in the program. And only after a satisfactory settlement is reached with the victim must the victim agree to waive rights to sue the Diocese.
To the point, if a victim participates in the program and an agreement is not achieved — that victim is not forced to waive rights to sue the Diocese. Victims who previously submitted a complaint of sexual abuse to the Diocese will have an opportunity to seek compensation in this program.
Victims who have not previously filed a complaint with the Diocese must register to participate in the program. New complaints of abuse received through this program must be reported to the local office of the District Attorney and the Diocese for review.
Here are some key dates:
- July 31, 2019 – This is the deadline to register new allegations of abuse with the Diocese.
- September 30, 2019 – All claims must be submitted to the administrators of the program by this date.
If you or a family member has been sexually abused and wish to discuss a claim, please call us at (570) 821-5717.
Please see the news article below for further information.