Manchester Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer

August 13, 2020 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Devout Catholics who regularly attend mass and raise their children in the Catholic Church look to religious leaders for guidance and wisdom. The power that priests wield has provided an opportunity for some to sexually abuse their child parishioners. Females and males alike have suffered sexual abuse by Catholic priests, but the vast majority of reported abuse that has come to light in recent years includes mostly male children and teens. Recently, the Diocese of Manchester released a list of 73 priests who were accused of committing sexual abuse. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a Manchester-area priest, you are not to blame. These predators abused their power to cause you harm. Recent changes in the law have provided an opportunity for victims to seek compensation from the Catholic Church for their abuse. Depending on the circumstances of your abuse, you may qualify to seek compensation for your suffering. The compassionate Manchester Priest Sexual Abuse Attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA continues to advocate for survivors of priest sexual abuse in New Hampshire and throughout the United States. We remain dedicated to helping survivors seek justice, which includes compensation for the trauma that they've experienced at the hands of priests and other clergy members. Contact us today by calling 833-552-7274 for a confidential consultation about your abuse and to learn how we can help you in the wake of suffering abuse in the Catholic Church.

Our Advocacy for Survivors of Sexual Abuse

The experienced priest sexual abuse attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have extensive experience advocating for clients who have suffered injuries as a result of accidents or intentional harm. Our firm's dedication to professional excellence, case preparation, and client service has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in damages for clients. We diligently pursue justice for priest sexual abuse survivors and understand that sexual abuse cases are not ordinary personal injury claims. We make your needs our top priority, and we work to fiercely protect your privacy. Additionally, our legal team understands that you might feel awkward about seeking financial justice from your current or former religious community, so we want to counsel you to help you find the path to justice that fits your needs. It takes immense courage to step forward with your story, and we are here to passionately help you seek justice. Your choice to come forward is important for your own mental health and dealing with the lasting effects of the trauma, but you will also help prevent future parishioners from suffering the same abuse. The legal team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is here to give you the counsel you need and guide you through each step of the legal process. We understand that sexual abuse accounts vary among clients, and your path toward justice might look different from that of another priest sexual abuse survivor. We want to explain your rights and options for taking legal action and offer helpful advice on the best course of action toward ensuring accountability for the priest who abused you.

Sexual Abuse in the Manchester Diocese

The Manchester Diocese has published vast amounts of information for those who survived sexual abuse from the Diocese's priests, including concluded cases, cases in progress, cases involving former priests, and cases involving priests who have died. If you currently live or once lived in the Manchester area and suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, contact an attorney for a confidential consultation as soon as possible.

Concluded Cases

These cases include priests who the Catholic Church or federal or state government found guilty of sexually abusing a minor. The following priests admitted to the abuse, were dismissed from their duties, sought laicization (also known as defrocking, wherein they remain priests but lose all of their churchly rights and responsibilities) instead of dismissal, or were assigned to a life of prayer and penance. The following priests also pled guilty in a criminal trial, or a court convicted them despite a plea of not guilty.
  • Paul Aube
  • Aimé Boisselle
  • Gerald Chalifour
  • Ronald Corriveau
  • Joseph Cote
  • Robert Densmore
  • Mark Fleming
  • Roger Fortier
  • James Haller
  • Alfred Jannetta
  • Raymond Laferriere
  • Gordon MacRae
  • Joseph Maguire
  • Andrew Meehan
  • John Nolin
  • Donald Osgood
  • Eugene Pelletier
  • Philip Petit
  • John Poirier
  • Edward Richard
  • George Robichaud
  • Stephon Scruton
  • Leo Shea
  • Francis Talbot
  • Roland Tancrede
  • Romeo Valliere

Cases in Progress

As of this writing, the case against Paul Stevens is the only ongoing case from the Manchester Diocese. The church has not resolved any canonical proceedings against Stevens, nor has he stood trial in criminal court. In 2003, Stevens was accused of groping and fondling a teenager in 1969 or 1970. He left the Diocese in 1987 and has no known address beyond 1996. The Diocese is not certain that Stevens is still alive and has not yet reported the incident to law enforcement.

Cases After Laicization

Some Manchester priests accused of sexual abuse voluntarily separated from the Catholic Church, and others separated for different reasons before the Manchester Diocese receiving a report of alleged sexual. The Church did not process these cases, but they did report them to the New Hampshire Department of Justice. According to the Manchester Diocese, the following individuals are included in this group:
  • Patrick Dubreuil
  • Paul Groleau
  • Alfred LaPointe
  • David Morley

Cases Against Deceased Priests of the Manchester Diocese

More than 30 Manchester priests that have been accused of sexual abuse have died before their accusers ever stepped forward, or shortly after. The list on the Diocese's website includes allegations that were investigated and the Church deemed credible. If your abuser is not listed above, you might find him here.

Priests from Other Orders Who Served in Manchester

Over the years, a handful of priests from other orders, eparchies, or dioceses, served in Manchester. Survivors accused some of them of sexual abuse, but those priests no longer serve the Manchester Diocese. These individuals include:
  • Philip Breton
  • Leo Landry
  • Edmond J. Lemire
  • Marcel Genereaux
  • Michael Ledoux
  • George Roulier
  • Peter Walsh

Seeking Justice After Surviving Manchester Priest Sexual Abuse

Those who have survived childhood or adolescent sexual abuse choose to come forward for many reasons. Some have spent time working through their trauma with mental health professionals and want to confront their abusers and/or hold them accountable to aid in recovery. Others have worked through the guilt and shame often associated with childhood sexual abuse and now feel safe to tell their stories and seek justice. Finally, most survivors want to ensure that no one else suffers the same fate. Your reasoning for choosing to come forward with your story and pursue justice is personal and does not matter. You can choose the path toward justice that best suits your needs. The empathetic lawyers of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will listen to your case, work to understand all of the surrounding facts, and present you with all of your legal options.

Seeking Compensation Through Civil Court

Depending on your situation, you might qualify to seek compensation for damages incurred as a result of your sexual abuse, whether from your abuser, from the Catholic Church for enabling the abuse, or from both. If you settle or if a court rules in your favor, you may receive compensation for the following costs related to sexual abuse by a Manchester priest:
  • Expenses for mental health services to help you cope with the trauma of sexual abuse, including therapy with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another counselor, mental health support services, and other expenses, such as costs for prescription medication, including anti-depressants or anti-anxiety information
  • Physical pain and suffering incurred as a result of sexual abuse
  • Emotional distress and mental trauma as a result of sexual abuse
  • Damage to personal relationships, including loss of consortium with a spouse
  • Punitive damages if the Catholic Church knowingly and intentionally covered up the abuse
We cannot guarantee a specific financial outcome if you choose to take legal action against the Manchester Diocese and/or one of its priests, but we will aggressively pursue the best outcome possible for your particular circumstances.

Criminal Prosecution of Your Abuser

If your abuser is not deceased, you can tell your story to law enforcement officers and insist that they file charges for sexual abuse. Ultimately, the prosecutor decides whether to pursue criminal charges for sexual abuse, but you do have a choice whether you want to testify or participate in the criminal process. When civil and criminal trials occur concurrently, you might struggle with knowing what to say. An experienced and compassionate priest sexual abuse lawyer from the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can advise you on what you should say. Protecting your rights is of the utmost importance, whether testifying as a survivor in criminal court or as a plaintiff in a civil trial.

The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse

If you have contemplated stepping forward with your priest sexual abuse story, you know how difficult the decision is. Even after waiting and wondering, you still might question your choice. If you choose to come forward with your allegation, you need a support system in place, which may include family, friends, and/or support groups. It's also in your best interest to undergo therapy with a psychologist or another type of mental health professional who can help you through the difficult process of coming forward. Priest sexual abuse survivors who choose not to cope with the emotional trauma of childhood sexual abuse face long-term physical and behavioral challenges. If you suspect your child has suffered priest sexual abuse, watch for the following signs and symptoms:
  • Depression or anxiety, which is sometimes a response to the shame, humiliation, fear, guilt, and self-blame for sexual abuse
  • Nightmares, flashbacks, and thoughts of the sexual abuse that indicate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Evidence of self-harm or self-sabotage as a result of the belief that the survivor caused the sexual abuse or deserved it
The long-term impacts that survivors of childhood sexual abuse might experience include physical, sexual, and relationship-based consequences. A rule of thumb is that the longer someone suffered from sexual abuse, the more likely he or she is to experience a severe impact. Consider:
  • The long-term physical impact of priest sexual abuse may include self-harm, self-neglect, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Adults who suffered abuse as children have a higher likelihood of abusing drugs and alcohol, of smoking cigarettes, of being sedentary, and of suffering from extreme obesity.
  • The long-term sexual effects from priest sexual abuse include struggles with sex drive, getting aroused, staying aroused, and climaxing. This is often a result of the association between sexual contact, the violation of the body, and pain from the abuse. Sexual abuse survivors typically have more sex partners, are more likely to contract an STD, and engage in high-risk behavior that can lead to HIV.
  • The interpersonal effects of priest sexual abuse vary widely. Some struggle with trusting others, especially those in positions of power, and others struggle with boundaries and protecting themselves. Adult survivors are often more vulnerable and prone to further victimization, and struggles with interpersonal effects make it difficult to have healthy relationships and friendships.

Contact Us Today for the Legal Help You Need After Suffering From Priest Sexual Abuse in Manchester

Survivors of priest sexual abuse face long-term challenges that damage their lives physically and create difficulties with personal and professional relationships. Additionally, the lasting effects of priest sexual abuse can impact your religious beliefs and spirituality. If you, your spouse, or your child has suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of a Manchester-area priest, you deserve justice. You should hold your abuser accountable and seek compensation for your suffering. If you wish to come forward with a Manchester priest sexual abuse allegation, consult a skilled lawyer who can support you and help you determine the best way to seek justice. The legal team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA advocates for survivors throughout the United States. Contact us today online or at 833-552-7274 for a confidential and free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your priest sexual abuse and how we can help you move forward.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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