Portland Man Files Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against the Catholic Church

A 62-year-old Portland man is suing the Franciscan Friars of California for injuries he says he sustained as a child when a priest sexually abused him. In his Oregon sex abuse lawsuit, he is seeking $4 million in damages. The plaintiff claims Father Claude Riffe sexually abused him during the 60’s at the St. Francis Minor Seminary in Troutdale.

Clergy Sex Abuse
Clergy sex abuse by a number of priests and other members of the Catholic Church has been a problem for a long time. Fortunately, there are legal remedies available to victims—whether they are still children who were recently abused or adults who were the victims of sexual abuse when they were children.

In Oregon, sex abuse victims can sue their perpetrators for damages within six years of turning 18 or within 3 years of discovery that a specific injury was a result of the abuse. Sexual abuse can consist of:

• Rape
• Sodomy
• Molestation
• Sexual exploitation
The effects of sexual abuse can last a lifetime and may seriously impair the victim’s ability to lead a happy and productive life.

In the United States, the Roman Catholic Church has spent tens of millions of dollars to compensate the many victims who have come forward to report they were sexually abused by a priest or another clergy member. While some of these abusers have gone to jail, many of them remain free. The church has also come under fire for looking the other way on many occasions when parishioners have come forward to report an abuse incident. It is not uncommon to find out that a priest accused of abuse was conveniently transferred to another parish where he would proceed to abuse more victims.

If you or your son or daughter was sexually abused by a clergy member, a teacher, a counselor, a doctor, a family friend, a daycare center worker, a nursing home employee, or any other party, you may be entitled to file an Oregon sex abuse lawsuit against the perpetrator.

Oregon firm files abuse lawsuits against churches, Oregon Live, February 11, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Abuse in the Catholic Church, The Boston Globe
Sexual Abuse Effects, Child Abuse