The Penn State sexual abuse scandal reveals a pattern of conduct that the trial lawyers at HM&M are well-acquainted with—a man in a position of power at a loved and respected institution uses his position to abuse children, and the officers of the institution not only refuse to stop the evil conduct, but actively work to protect the abuser. In our experience, that same pattern has consistently played out when we investigate allegation of sexual abuse by priests and brothers affiliated with the Catholic Church.
Abuse experts see many similarities between the Penn State scandal and Catholic Church scandals in cities such as Chicago, Milwaukee and Boston:
Child sex abuse expert Kenneth Lanning, who worked in the FBI for 30 years, said the abuse suspects in Boston and at Penn State share similar profiles as “acquaintance molesters,” who have access to children, do good things for them and often are seen so far above reproach that people don't believe even obvious signs that something is wrong.
He said institutions such as Penn State and the Boston archdiocese also have similar profiles, as successful and respected organizations, with strong motivation to preserve their reputations. That can lead to bad decisions to avoid negative publicity, even if there's no malicious intent, he said.
“Any youth-serving organization can have these problems,” he said. “But I think when you have a youth-serving organization that has a certain aura about it, or status about it, then I think there's at least a strong potential that that can influence their decision-making process and how they handle things.”
However, the Penn State sexual abuse scandal also reveals: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Even if you or a loved one were sexually abused long ago, you may still be able to pursue claims against the religious organizations involved in the abuse. If you are a victim of sexual abuse or are inquiring on behalf of a friend or family member who has suffered a sexual assault, contact [[title]] immediately to confidentially discuss these claims.