Sexual abuse perpetrated by a trusted member of the clergy against any child is one of the most horrific acts one can suffer. The abuse is not only traumatic in the moment, but can have lasting and harmful effects well into adulthood. If you were a victim of such abuse, you still have options.
How the statute of limitations used to work
Previously, there was a limit to how long a victim of clergy abuse could wait to file a lawsuit and hold the clergy member accountable. If the victim failed to file a lawsuit by their 28th birthday, they would forever lose the right to do so and the clergy member would never be held responsible. Considering how difficult it is for a victim to face that old pain and fear, the time limit proved a disservice for all victims.
Louisiana changed the law
In recognition of the problem time limits created for victims of clergy abuse, Louisiana amended the law in 2021. It eliminated the existing time limit, so that future cases will not be barred by the passage of time and claims against clergy may be filed at any time.
The look-back period
At the same time Louisiana removed the time limit for future cases, it also recognized that older cases existed which had already passed the time limit. As such, it created a three-year look-back period. This gave any victim with a claim that has passed the time limit an additional three years in which to file their claim. This three-year window will last until 2024.
Filing a lawsuit for clergy abuse will not make the abuse go away. But it is your opportunity for a measure of justice and closure. If you want assistance pursuing those goals, speak to a professional who is experienced in Louisiana law and clergy abuse cases.