Sexual abuse of a child at a Catholic Church camp results in $2.1 million settlement
Romanucci & Blandin LLC announced a $2.1 million settlement on behalf of a 7-year-old girl who was repeatedly sexually assaulted at a Catholic church camp in the Chicago area in 2015.
Attorneys Antonio Romanucci, Martin Gould and Bryce Hensley secured the settlement, and say the camp and church were negligent by letting a counselor with a suspected history of mental health concerns, including depression and suicidal tendencies, be left alone with vulnerable young children. His only “qualification” for supervising 7-year-old girls was that his parents were friends with a leader of the church.
The abuse took place in multiple locations throughout the church, playground, and classroom. This continued until the girl confided in a teacher, who then notified the girl’s father. When the father confronted the priest and church leaders, they discouraged the father from calling police, saying the allegations would ruin the girl’s reputation and negatively impact attendance at the church.
“The fact that the priest involved valued the reputation of the church over the lifelong psychological and emotional well-being of our young client is sickening,” said Romanucci & Blandin Attorney Martin Gould. “The church leaders involved had knowledge that this man should not be responsible for young girls, and chose to look the other way.”
“The continued sexual manipulation and abuse of children by Catholic priests is abhorrent and intolerable. These types of cases reflect the continued negligence by church leaders,” said Romanucci & Blandin Founding Partner Antonio Romanucci. “In this specific case, however, we are appreciative that the Archdiocese of Chicago recognized how horrific this incident was and the everlasting impact it would have on our client, which finally led to the resolution of the case.”
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