Category Archives: Child Sexual Abuse Attorney

One Writer Asks: ‘Just How Flagrant Does a Pedophile Need to be Before the People Around Him Contact the Police?’

By TIM KOSNOFF

A great value of contemporary journalism and published commentary is that technology has made it easy for readers to offer instant responses. These modern-day letters to the editor often are as revealing as the writing that prompted them. A Sept. 10 New York Times op-ed piece, for example, by staff columnist Frank Bruni, is interesting not just for its substance but also for the readers’ reactions (there were about 150 at last glance).

Bruni cites a pair of high-profile cases of child sex predators. One, inevitably, is the infamous Jerry Sandusky.
Most of the column is about Missouri Catholic priest Rev. Shawn Ratigan, and a superior who, upon learning of Ratigan’s crimes, “acted no less despicably,” Bruni writes, than did Sandusky’s bosses at Penn State. At that institution, football easily won the day versus the concerns about ongoing criminal behavior Sandusky committed against kids.

As for Ratigan, Bruni asks rhetorically: “Just how flagrant does a pedophile need to be before the people around him contact the police?”

The columnist then recounts how, in 2010, a parochial-school principal notified the diocese in western Missouri about Ratigan’s strange behavior. It included making kids stick their hands in his pockets to retrieve pieces of candy. Later, “hundreds of troubling, furtively taken photographs were found on his laptop, according to court testimony given too long after that fact. One showed a toddler’s genitals.”

Was Ratigan arrested and jailed? Hardly, after a suicide attempt he was counseled, reassigned and deemed fit to say Mass for youth groups and even oversee an Easter-egg hunt attended by children. He later was caught trying to take an under-the-table photo up the skirt of the young daughter of his parishioner hosts.

It wasn’t until May of 2011 that an official from the diocese revealed knowledge of Ratigan’s child porn. Within the past month Ratigan was convicted, as was Bishop Robert W. Finn, the latter for failing to report what he knew.

The Finn conviction, Bruni notes, makes him “the first American bishop to be found criminally culpable for his inaction in the face of suspected child abuse.”

Bruni then writes that “I’m less interested in the grim milestone of Bishop Finn’s conviction than in the crucial lessons his story reiterates.”

He cites other once-revered institutions such as Penn State and the Boy Scouts of America, where officials notoriously labored “to protect their reputations or simply to avoid conflict” by failing to report sex crimes committed under their watch.

The Bruni piece, here again, generated many dozens of reader responses. One is worth noting if only because it suggests just how easily it can be for some to miss the point entirely about tacit approval of sex crimes by officials at revered institutions.

The unsigned comment apparently asks readers to place the Bruni column within the context of all the good that has been done by Catholic “communities of men and women who kept the cultures of the east and west alive in copied and recopied manuscripts through the dark ages.

“And communities of men and women who gave their very lives to protect children abandoned on streets and to take care of the sick that no one else would touch.

“And communities of men and women who unselfishly taught generations of young children regardless of their race, color or religion.

“And communities of men and women who sacrificed their lives on battlefields ministering to the wounded and the dead but never raising a hand or weapon in self defense.

“And communities of men and women who have fought injustice and gone to jail in acts of civil disobedience against discrimination and wholesale killing.

“And communities of men and women who go into danger zones of earthquakes, floods, civil war to bring aid to those in need regardless of race, color, politics or creed.”

Perhaps the author of the above somehow feels such honorable behavior means we needn’t be so harsh in dealing with the criminal minority within the institution. The irony is that we should deal with such crimes precisely because of the examples of better nature eloquently cited in the passage.

If someone you know needs help, you can contact us:

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

Catholic Officials Finagle Church Finances to Seem Poorer for Court Settlements, Investigation Finds

By TIM KOSNOFF

Decades of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is a grim reality for untold thousands of victims and a source of disgust for non-victims. It would be difficult to find anyone unaware of these cases and the resulting media coverage.

But another kind of malfeasance by Catholic church officials is less well known. It’s the topic of an investigation by the highly regarded periodical The Economist. In a recent issue of the London-based magazine (paper and online), the reporting is largely concerned with the ways Catholic officials have finagled church finances in order to seem poorer when court settlements are at hand.
The authors observe: “The sins involved in Catholic Church book-keeping are not as vivid or grotesque as those on display in the various sexual-abuse cases that have cost the American church more than $3 billion so far; but the financial mismanagement and questionable business practices would have seen widespread resignations at the top of any other public institution.”

The article is titled “The Catholic Church in America: Earthly Concerns,”

The piece indicates that church officials seemingly at every echelon are either incompetent or manipulative when it comes to raising and spending money from public and private sources. This has become an obvious strain on the institution as officials deal with the need to pay out an estimated $1 million per abuse settlement — a total of $3.3 billion during the past 15 years, with more than a third of it paid in California alone.

But matters could get worse for a church that may count a third of the U.S. population as members or former members.

“The [$3.3 billion] total is likely to increase as more states follow California and Delaware in relaxing the statute of limitations on these crimes, most of which were reported long after they happened,” according to the article. “For an organization with revenues of $170 billion that might seem manageable. But settlements are made by individual dioceses and religious orders, whose pockets are less deep than those of the church as a whole.”

The piece cites my colleague, Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents abuse victims, as asserting that legislatures in 10 states (Arizona, Illinois, New York, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California) are trying to extend statutes of limitation regarding such crimes.

The article continues: “If any of these efforts succeeds, the expectation . . . is that some of the affected dioceses would seek Chapter 11 protection while they attempt to settle the cases. (Troubled dioceses generally settle suits just before the bishop is due in court.) The diocese of Honolulu could be the next to go bankrupt. In May it was hit by a pair of new lawsuits after the extension of Hawaii’s statute of limitations for victims of abuse.”

No less an eminence than New York’s Timothy Dolan, elevated to Cardinal last January, is said to be spending “substantial” amounts of money lobbying members of his state’s assembly to keep the current statute of limitations in place.

Reporters for The Economist seem to have done exhaustive work poring over public records and other documents in an effort to tally up church losses. Investigators claim the massive settlement payouts now have brought the church, despite its enormous wealth, to the edge of a liquidity crisis. The belief is that such a crisis could cause the church to seek “publicly raised debt” to cover settlement costs. Obviously the vast sums demanded by juries can’t be covered by the $10 a week the average parishioner is said to drop into the offering basket at weekly Mass.

Nor, one can be fairly certain, would the church’s apparent financial woes earn the institution much sympathy, not among those who have been sickened by ceaseless reports of sexual crimes and certainly not among the many victims and their loved ones.

If someone you know needs help, you can contact us:

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

The Sometimes Violent Aftermath of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Crimes Committed By Victims

By TIM KOSNOFF

Those who are willing to ponder the consequences of sex abuse crimes committed by adults against children should have been with me during a recent prison visit in Montana. I was there to interview a potential client. I’ve spent a career in the company of both victims and those accused of crimes. I ask the reader to contemplate just briefly what it can be like meeting with a man convicted of two murders. For privacy reasons, I’ll call him “Robert,” not his real name.
Robert, now 57, has been convicted of two murders: one, on the outside, in 1985; the other in prison 10 years later. I met with him at a privatized institution run (and not particularly impressively) by Corrections Corporation of America. The two of us were accompanied by a flabby, detached prison guard who didn’t look capable of defending himself, let alone both of us.

When I asked Robert to identify the prison victim from the 1995 murder, his tattoo-covered arms, lethal weapons, hung limp at his side. His vacant-looking eyes stayed dead-level as he mumbled: “They said he was my ‘boy.’”

Perhaps the reader can imagine the meaning of “boy” in prison parlance.

In any case, Robert was given the death penalty for the second murder. He spent the next decade on death row. When the conviction was overturned he accepted a “for-your-natural-life” plea.

I went to see Robert to investigate sex crimes he said were committed against him when he was a child while in Montana state supervision. He had clear memories of having been raped by workers known as “house parents” while he — and many others — were consigned to “family homes,” a cruel euphemism for “orphanage,” under the circumstances.

Without getting into the specifics of Robert’s childhood circumstances, perhaps we can at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Had he been brought up in a loving, nurturing home where there was no such thing as the threat of violence and sexual assault, can we at least grant the possibility that he wouldn’t have grown up to become a murderer?

Look at it from the perspective of one of my other clients. He’s been convicted of two violent felonies. He told me that his crimes were to seek random vengeance for how he was sexually hurt as a kid. Why did he actually want to live in prison? It was so he could have bars around him to lessen the chance that he’d be violated by another person.

We have other child-sexual-abuse clients who are behind bars for assaults, drug-related offenses, substance abuse, property crimes, etc. Sometimes we see victims who themselves have gone on to become sexual abusers or, like Robert, some other sort of violent felon.

I’ve come to think that you can draw a straight line from criminal-abuse to criminal consequence, from child-sexual abuse to the public defender’s office and back. When you consider the epidemic that is child sex abuse in this country, you begin to appreciate the societal costs of later crimes committed by those who were once victims.

If this weren’t odious enough, consider:

In Spokane, Kosnoff Fasy attorneys waged a six-year legal battle on behalf of young men sexually abused by Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner at the Morning Star Boys ranch. Some clients were behind bars. This priest ran the ranch for 40 years, lording with impunity over those in his “care.” There is incontrovertible evidence that Weitensteiner, a law unto himself at Morningstar, committed countless rapes during the years.

Yet, during a civil trial, a jury actually ruled in favor of the defendant. Why? Because, as a means of minimizing plaintiffs’ credibility, defense attorney’s cited criminal histories and records of incarceration accrued by the victims during the years after they’d been abused.

Such poses a bitter irony. Under the circumstances, appreciation of the irony no doubt will escape Robert and so many other victims-turned-criminals.

If someone you know needs help, you can contact us:

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

What’s Wrong with this Picture?


Jesuit Photo Reveals Eight of 21 Men Identified as Sexual Predators
It’s a fleeting moment captured on black and white film. Some 21 Jesuit missionaries, dressed in long, black ministerial robes, smiling broadly as they faced the camera.

They appear as a band of brothers, posed at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Standing against ornate church doors, the subjects shown in the photo could be contemporary.

Instead the image is a gathering from half a century ago, a 1962 picture. The historic posing might seem respectable were it not for the fact that eight of the men have more recently been identified as sexual predators.

This isn’t to impugn the reputations of the other 13 men. But does anyone really believe authorities by now have found every sexual predator connected with the Catholic Church in Montana?

Moreover, is the public aware that the men posing as emissaries for the church descended upon trusting Native Americans in Montana, leaving behind broken lives from their untold number of crimes? Imagine accepting with goodwill men supposedly on spiritual missions only to be enslaved by criminal sexual depravity.

The photo is from “Jesuits in Montana, 1840-1960,” by Rev. Wilfred Schoenberg S.J. Ironically the book is an attempt to chronicle commendable Jesuit missionary efforts, particularly as attempts to benefit Native Americans. Instead it suggests evidence documenting pedophilia that has extended through decades of abuses.

Earlier this month, our legal team filed an amended civil lawsuit on behalf of eight sex-abuse victims against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena bringing the total number of plaintiffs in this case to 200. Ten more alleged perpetrators associated with the Diocese of Helena, Montana, have been identified. Among the 10: Egon Mallman, pictured grinning in the upper right-hand corner of the 1962 photo. The Helena Diocese case now has 26 perpetrators, both named and unnamed. The list of perpetrators continues to grow.

This month, Helena Diocese Bishop George Leo Thomas sent letters to be read by pastors to parishioners urging sex-abuse survivors to come forward. The bishop noted in his letter that the Helena Diocese is working with plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Thomas wrote: “At this point, we are working with the plaintiffs’ attorneys in an attempt to find a negotiated resolution to avoid costly and destructive litigation. A portion of the resolution procedures includes identifying any remaining victims who have yet to come forward.”

“No victim of sexual abuse should suffer alone.”

“If you know anyone who has suffered sexual abuse, please encourage them to come forward.”

This case is about public safety. I believe the latest numbers revealed this month represent a small fraction of total victims. Sexual-abuse victims tend to bury the hurt of their abuse as a coping strategy, making it difficult for them to come forward. I’ve seen first-hand how hard it is for these wounded souls to come forward and speak up. These, of course, are just the clients who have come to us. Common sense tells us there are victims and perpetrators who haven’t yet been identified. There are more out there, I am sure. I know because I’ve met with them first-hand in private meetings, as family members and friends quietly ask if I and my fellow attorneys could help someone else they know who’s been abused.

The Helena Diocese case has moved from the courtroom to mediated talks. Both sides have agreed to meet this November to discuss terms for equitably settling claims.

Getting back to the abusers newly listed in the case:

Mallman served for many years at St. Anne’s Church and Holy Family Mission in Heart Butte and St. Michael’s in Browning, roughly from the mid-1930s to the late 1970s. He has been reported as among the worst of the abusers, violently raping young children.

Another, Joseph Stimatz, was ordained in 1946 and served for many years at Little Flower Parish, the Cut Bank boarding school in Browning, as well as in Bozeman, Butte and Laurin. Stimatz allegedly sexually assaulted both boys and girls, according to witness statements.

A third to have been recently added to the list of alleged perpetrators: Father Louis Taelman, one-time Gonzaga president, also shown in the 50-year-old photo. Others: Joseph Obersinner, Leonard A. Kohlman, Augustus J. Ferretti, Alexander F. McDonald, Joseph A. Balfe and Gordon L. Keys, at the gathering but not pictured.

When we filed the amended lawsuit, I once again called upon the Helena Diocese to put forth all information pertaining to abusers about whom they’ve received complaints. While I’m encouraged at how the case is proceeding, I want to know where accused abusers were assigned and if any continue in active ministry.

The lawsuit includes 200 John Doe and Jane Doe “placeholder slots” for victims expected to come forward. The suit also asks for non-monetary reform and healing measures, such as asking the court to order the diocese to post the names of abusers on the diocese web site for 10 years. Given the decades of the abuse and the age of the shameful 1962 photo, perhaps 50 years would be more fitting.

Pedophile Rings Hiding in Plain Sight

It’s been scarcely a month since the findings about Penn State’s transgressions pertaining to convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky were revealed in their harrowing detail. That the former assistant coach of the Nittany Lions football program was convicted on 45 of 48 counts and likely will never have a life outside of prison may have mollified the majority of observers sickened by the ordeal and, perhaps, ready to move on.
But it might not yet be time to turn the page on Sandusky. Reports have been surfacing that the ex-coach and founder of the dubious youth-oriented charity Second Mile may well have been part of a broad ring of pedophiles. Indeed, if reports are true the ring may have included wealthy and/or well-connected men who are otherwise highly regarded in business, politics and other professions.

Last November journalist Victor Thorn wrote a piece for American Free Press headlined The Far-reaching Implications of the PSU Child-abuse Scandal. The story addressed the likelihood of a Pennsylvania-based pedophile ring.

On July 22 Thorn was back interviewing Greg Bucceroni, a police officer working for Philadelphia schools. Bucceroni, who also volunteers for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, is quoted by Thorn recalling:
“In 1979 and 1980—when I was 13 and 14 years old—a well-connected pedophile named Edward Savitz took me on trips from Philadelphia to TSM fundraisers. I knew the minute I got there it was a breeding ground because of Savitz’s involvement. While [Jerry] Sandusky interacted with wealthy donors, the other men were sizing-up kids. I felt like a cheap whore because I was in these naked pictures that Savitz was passing around.”
When Thorn asked Bucceroni how certain he is about his recollections, the police officer replied: “I’m sure of it. Savitz talked about taking kids from Philly to TSM and introducing them to men—soliciting them to ‘his friends.’ They exchanged and swapped kids like baseball cards. It was a feeding frenzy. I felt like a prostitute or a go-go dancer at a bachelor party. I felt dirty, used and cheap.”

Savitz had been the subject of a sordid 1992 Time magazine story , part of which reads:
“To the teenage boys who visited his apartment near Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, Ed Savitz was an easy client who paid $15 for oral sex and had a fetish for soiled underwear and socks. Health and law-enforcement officials fear that Savitz was also a walking AIDS time bomb. The 50-year-old actuary, who was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of children last month, has admitted that he has had AIDS for one year.”
Savitz succumbed to AIDS a year after the Time article.

New pedophile-ring information is bound to continue surfacing in the wake of the Sandusky convictions. Alleged victims such as Bucceroni will feel emboldened to reveal their painful recollections. In this way, not only will many victims be able to help ease their own emotional burdens. They’ll also help reveal and bring to justice what could be hundreds, perhaps thousands of pedophiles hiding in plain sight behind their public facades of upright character.

For further reading you can visit the Huffington Post.

If someone you know needs help, you can contact us:

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 206-453-0580
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

Finding the Right Counselor

After everything is said and done, and the legal fight is over, our clients frequently ask where or how they should find a counselor who can help.
It’s a brave and noble thing to look for child sex abuse counseling, so finding a qualified therapist or counselor is key.
There are certain things to consider.
1. You may be limited to certain types of providers, so check with your health insurance. You can also check The American Psychological Association’s psychologist locator to find professionals near you.

2.If you don’t have insurance, look into social workers and counselors available in your community at community health centers, local non-profits, and organizations that are able to help with the issues you’re facing, or nearby schools and universities. Keep in mind that, while these may be more affordable, their staffs are usually overloaded with cases and there may be long waiting lists before you can see someone.

3. Don’t be discouraged. Broaden your search and treat mental health like any other aspect of health. If you had a physical disease, you wouldn’t stop looking for help just because the doctors in your town were unavailable. The same should be true for mental health. Call them. Make a brief list of counselors, social workers or psychologists you’re thinking of seeing, either based on their proximity to your home or office, their office hours, their compatibility with your health insurance or recommendations by others. You may also be able to give them a general idea of what your concern is and they may be able to tell you if the person you’d like to see is experienced in that matter. If you’re calling a private practice or a counselor who works from a home office, you’ll likely have the opportunity to speak directly to them. Make sure you get the same answers, especially with regard to whether they can work with your insurance and whether they can help with your situation. Don’t forget to ask about the details: the therapist’s education and license, his or her experience and history, and the specialists philosophies toward mental health and illness, specifically what you’re dealing with.

4. Make an educated decision. Once you’ve spoken to a few candidates, weigh your options like you would if you were interviewing someone for a job. After all, you’re about to pay them money to help you with a task you need help with, they should all make you comfortable with the thought of speaking with them and give you an idea whether or not they can help you or see you as often as you’d like.

In some cases, it can come down to word of mouth. If you have friends or family members who has had good experiences with a specific counselor or psychologist, contact them and see if they can assist you. It comes down to you. It’s important to feel comfortable with your counselors so you can get the best out of your time with them.

Penn State Sanctions: Making it Costly to Cover up Pedophilia

Most media covering the story of the Penn State football program sanctions seemed, in news industry parlance, to “bury the lede.” In the initial Associated Press report, it required skimming down to the sixth paragraph to find this:
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”
So said Mark Emmert, former University of Washington president who left in 2010 to become executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

A year into his tenure Emmert had on his doorstep the sordid Jerry Sandusky scandal and, in the views of many, the much more pertinent priority, to wit: Never mind the victims; how would the Sandusky spectacle affect what is sacred in America, an honored college-football program personified by a deity worthy of a seven-foot statue?

Coach Joe Paterno died six months prior to Sandusky’s June conviction on 45 of 48 counts. The 900-pound mound of bronze bearing JoePa’s likeness was summarily taken out of the game, so to speak, and hidden away in storage/shame. Paterno, after all, had exhibited years of less-than-admirable behavior by preferring to sustain the fiction of his gridiron prowess rather than tell authorities about his friend/monster.

Many seem to believe that Emmert and the NCAA did the right thing by dealing Penn State everything short of football’s death penalty. An online unscientific “instant poll” by a reputable news organization revealed minutes after Emmert’s announcement that about half of respondents felt the NCAA refs had the correct call. A quarter felt the death penalty was in order. One in five, hand-wringing about bowl-game bans and lost scholarships, said the NCAA had no business even adjudicating the Sandusky scandal.

Some might be unable to countenance the most important aspect of the breaking story: that Penn State must come up with $60 million as a sustaining fund for abuse victims. Many observers no doubt are lamenting the notion that the NCAA also ruled that Penn State’s on-field victories between 1998 and 2011 would have to be rewritten.

To those who think that the Penn State tragedy is nothing but an overblown football story, here’s something worth contemplating: The abuse victims of Sandusky and countless other predators will never be made whole again by jury awards and NCAA financial penalties.

It’s easy to be smug and wag fingers. We could call upon Penn State to melt down the statue-grade brass from its Joe Paterno statue, commanding a buck a pound on the scrap market, and add it to the proceeds to be paid to victims. Fact is, the $60 million fund is little more than an expensive speeding ticket for this deep-pocketed institution, to be paid during the next five years.

In reality, Penn State is not alone in this problem. I can all but guarantee there are more Penn States out there because it’s a culture that valued power, prestige and protection of reputation over the safety of children. Penn State sanctions will work to the extent they raise public awareness and make it costly to cover up pedophilia. But make no mistake: There are other institutions out there with the same problems. We see it every day in representing our clients.

If someone you know needs help, you can contact us:

Our attorneys are highly experienced in childhood sexual abuse law and offer free initial consultations to potential clients. We are also willing to assist other attorneys in sexual abuse cases. Please call 206-257-3590, or email us directly. Conversations will be kept confidential, and even if you are unsure about a lawsuit, often we can direct you to the assistance you need. You will be treated with compassion and respect.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

Diocese And Morning Star Ranch Reach Settlement Agreement

A settlement has been reached in Morning Star Ranch in Spokane. According to Tim, “this was not a victory, but it was not a defeat, we salvaged a case out of a very difficult situation.” You can read the Full article, by Katie Steiner, KHQ Reporter, posted on May 27th, 2012. and view the video here.
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Diocese of Spokane handed out a letter to all of its parishioners Sunday. This letter was written by Bishop Blase Cupich announcing that they had reached a settlement with the victims of the Morning Star Boys Ranch  case. The Bishop told KHQ that he was very happy that the diocese did not have to close any churches. This case has been in mediation since October of 2010. In his letter, the Bishop said that the settlement met all four of the diocese’s goals. No parish will be foreclosed, all appeals will be withdrawn, the church will pay 1.5 million dollars in claims cases and mediation expenses, and Federal Judge Michael Hogal will be the Tort Claim Reviewer and will be in charge of any new future claims in the next four years. The Bishop also wrote “This is an important and significant turning point in a very sad chapter of our diocesan history. We can never forget the harm done to children, who deserved better from the Church and her ministers. Once again, I apologize to the survivors of the sexual abuse by clergy and to the families of survivors.”

The attorney for 26 of the victims in the Morning Star Ranch settlement, Tim Kosnoff talked to KHQ and he said that this settlement “obtained some justice. I wish it could have been more, but it is validation, and it’s closure for them, and compensation and I hope that they can put this chapter behind them and move on with their lives,” Kosnoff said. He said that he was happy that this process is over, but was not thrilled with the outcome. “It was reasonable under the circumstances…this was not a victory, but it was not a defeat, we salvaged a case out of a very difficult situation.”

Kosnoff said that this was a very difficult mediation, but says everyone involved is glad it’s over. Kosnoff said. “My clients are relieved, I am relieved, I think everyone involved in the process is relieved.” The attorney also said that some parties were more cooperative than others. “I would credit Bishop Cupich, I think he played a positive role under the circumstances for him, the board of directors of the Morning Star Boys Ranch were not cooperative, and they were probably the most difficult to deal with,” Kosnoff said.

KHQ did talk to a representative from the Morning Star Boys Ranch and they would not comment on this issue.

If you are looking for Tim Kosnoff, Kosnoff Fasy has experience in boy scout abuse, mormon sexual abuse, catholic church abuse, and more. You can contact us at kosnoff.com or Toll Free: 1-855-LAW-4-CSA

Working Towards Solving an Epidemic : Child Sex Abuse

Child abuse occurs in epidemic proportions nationwide and across the globe. In the U.S. alone, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before their eighteenth birthdays, according to Darkness to Light,, a national child sexual abuse prevention organization.

Our response as a country depends on

  • Acknowledge the scope of the problem
  • Informing and publicizing the facts
  • Removing the myths about predators
  • Emphasizing every adult’s responsibility to report suspicious activity or known abuse
  • Providing guidance on how to report and prevent abuse to every adult and institution that serves children.

Reporting suspected or known abuse is a must if we are to protect our children. Child sexual abuse reports should be made to the state’s child protective services agency, the police or both. Research on disclosure rates tell us that less than a third of incidents/cases are disclosed or identified, and even fewer are reported. And false reports of child sexual abuse  made by children are rare.

Further, there are a lot of deeply entrenched myths about child sexual abuse that are linked to harmful outcomes. One of the most deep-rooted and erroneous beliefs is that strangers pose the most danger to our children. One powerful myth is that pedophiles look and act creepy. The fact is people who abuse children look like everyday people: our relatives, our teachers, our coaches, our friends. The predators typically go out of their way to appear trustworthy and to gain the confidence of unsuspecting children and adults.

The national dialogue that Penn State has sparked mustn’t stop now. As a nation, as a community,we simply must continue to talk about the ever present danger of Child sexual abuse, both with our children and with other adults.

Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, direct: 425-837-9690
Dan Fasy, direct: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

If you are looking for child sex abuse attorneys, Kosnoff Fasy has experience in boy scout abuse, mormon sexual abuse, catholic church abuse, and more. You can contact us at kosnoff.com or Toll Free: 1-855-LAW-4-CSA

Kosnoff Fasy – Great Falls Filing For Sex Abuse

New Clergy Sex Abuse Victims File Suit Against Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana.

Having represented sexual abuse survivors for a decade, trial lawyer Tim Kosnoff has many settlements in his favor. For more information, please call 1-855-529-4272, visit their website at www.abusedinmontana.com or email them at [email protected]

If you are looking for child abuse attorneys, Kosnoff Fasy has experience in boy scout abuse, mormon sexual abuse, catholic church abuse, and more. You can contact us at kosnoff.com or Toll Free: 1-855-LAW-4-CSA