HomeCatholic Church Sex AbuseClergy Abuse in Connecticut

Clergy Abuse in Connecticut

The Catholic Dioceses of Connecticut released the names of clergy members accused of sexual abuse. The dioceses collectively named roughly 150 Connecticut priests accused of abuse. State lawmakers are working on new legislation to expand victims’ rights in the state of Connecticut.

Free, Confidential Case Evaluation.

*Cases may be filed anonymously to protect the victim’s identity.

Sexual Assault Laws in Connecticut

As claims of clergy abuse sweep the nation, many states have passed laws expanding the rights of child sexual abuse victims. The state of Connecticut is often criticized for its weaker statutes surrounding clergy abuse of minors. Critics have argued the state’s laws do not offer enough protection to victims of sexual abuse.

In 2019, state lawmakers broadened the legal rights of sexual abuse survivors by passing Senate Bill 3. The new law expanded the legal rights of victims in Connecticut. However, many critics argue the law still favors perpetrators of abuse over victims.

Senate Bill 3 Expands Legal Deadlines in Connecticut

In June 2019, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Senate Bill 3 (SB3) into law. The new law includes several important provisions for survivors of child sexual abuse:

  • SB3 extends the legal deadline to file civil claims of child sexual abuse.
  • SB3 eliminates the legal deadline for criminal sexual offenses against a minor under the age of 16.
  • SB3 extends the legal deadline for adult victims to press criminal charges of sexual assault.
  • SB3 establishes a nine-member task force to evaluate the state’s current statutes.

The SB3 Task Force

In January 2020, the task force created by SB3 recommended eliminating the civil legal deadline for the following sexual offenses:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual assault

The task force also recommended this action be applied retroactively to all relevant cases.

Unfortunately, the Judiciary Committee chose not to include the issue on the annual agenda for 2020. Thus, many survivors of abuse with expired claims will continue to wait for their day in court in the state of Connecticut.

Despite the new legal deadlines provided by SB3, critics still argue that not enough has been done for victims. Two arguments frequently used to support this dissent include:

  • In Connecticut, survivors of child sexual abuse must file a civil lawsuit against their abuser before they reach 51 years of age. SB3 changed the deadline from age 48 to 51. However, critics argue this extension still prevents older adults from filing claims.
  • In Connecticut, the state’s attorney general has no jurisdiction over criminal cases. This limits the state’s ability to investigate abuse allegations. For example, the New Jersey Attorney General launched a criminal investigation into the abuse allegations surrounding the Catholic Church. A similar investigation would not currently be possible in Connecticut.

Connecticut Clergy Abuse Lawsuits

In the United States, thousands of survivors of clergy abuse have shared their experiences in the last decade. Many of the allegations in Connecticut involve abusive priests and several duplicitous church officials who covered up cases of abuse. An investigation into the Bridgeport Diocese looked deeper into this issue.

Diocese of Bridgeport Investigation

In 2018, Bishop Frank Caggiano commissioned an investigation. Caggiano is the current Bishop of the Bridgeport Diocese in Connecticut. He hired a law firm to conduct an investigation into priest abuse of minors in the Bridgeport Diocese.

The investigation found that during the history of the diocese, sexual abuse crimes fell into two categories:

  1. Abusive clergy members who committed sexual assault and related offenses against minors.
  2. Several bishops failed to report the abuse to local law enforcement. Since 1971, clergy members in Connecticut have been mandated reporters by law. However, between 1971 and 1990, no one with authority in the diocese reported a case of abuse to law enforcement.

Survivors were not only victims of abusive priests in Connecticut. They were also victims of unlawful cover-ups arranged by several high-ranking church officials in the diocese.


Source: A Report on the Investigation Into the History of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport and the Diocese’s Response to that Abuse

The investigation’s results detailed systemic abuse in the diocese dating back to 1953. For some survivors of abuse, this investigation was a good first step in making amends. However, many survivors are turning to the legal system to seek justice.

Unfortunately, depending on the age of the victim, not all survivors have the same legal opportunities. If survivors of child sex abuse are over 51 years of age, they are time-barred from filing a civil lawsuit against their abuser in the state of Connecticut. This age cut-off is determined by the state’s statute of limitations surrounding child sexual abuse.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Priest Sexual Abuse in Connecticut?

To file any legal claim in the United States, a person must follow the statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations (SOL) is a legal deadline. SOLs are determined at the state level and vary based on the crime.

To learn more about legal deadlines, visit our statute of limitations page >

In the state of Connecticut, a victim of priest abuse must follow the statute of limitations based on the type of claim he or she is filing. There is a different statute to file civil claims versus pressing criminal charges.

Civil Claims

In Connecticut, victims of sexual abuse who were under the age of 21 at the time of the abuse have until their 51st birthday to file a civil claim against their abuser. SB3 extended the civil statute deadline from 48 years of age to 51 years of age.

Criminal Charges

In Connecticut, there is no criminal statute of limitations in cases of “sexual abuse, sexual exploitation or sexual assault” if the victim was under 16 at the time of the incident. This is true for felonies and misdemeanors.

Victims between the ages of 18 and 20 may press criminal charges until they reach 51 years of age. These statutes were enacted with the passing of SB3.

Find more information about the criminal statutes surrounding sexual offenses in the state of Connecticut here.

What Is the Difference Between a Criminal Case and Civil Lawsuit?

If the abuser (defendant) is found guilty in a criminal case, he or she may face probation or time in prison. The victim (plaintiff) would only receive money if the court requires the defendant to pay restitution to the plaintiff.

If the abuser (defendant) is found liable in a civil case, he or she must pay a monetary award to the victim (plaintiff). The amount of the award is determined by the jury. The award covers any damages caused by the abuse.

Connecticut Priest Abuse Payouts by Diocese

The three Catholic Dioceses of Connecticut have each paid significant settlements and payouts to victims of clergy abuse. The majority of the claims settled by the dioceses involve cases of abuse that occurred long before the settlements.

Archdiocese of Hartford

According to the Hartford Archdiocese’s Financial Accountability Report, the Archdiocese paid $50.6 million to victims of priest abuse. This number includes all settlements paid between 1953 and 2019.

Archdiocese of Hartford Settlement Statistics
  • The payout amount settled 142 child sex abuse allegations.
  • The average settlement payment was $356,338.
  • The individual settlement payouts ranged from $3,000 to $1.6 million.

Diocese of Bridgeport

In 2018, the Diocese of Bridgeport released a Financial Accountability Report. According to the report, the Diocese paid $52.5 million to victims of priest abuse between 1953 and 2018. That amount reflected 156 abuse settlements. The average settlement amount was $337,000.

However, in December 2019, the diocese released an update to the initial report. Between November 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019, the Bridgeport Diocese paid $4,492,000 in settlements. The settlement amount covered 10 additional claims of abuse.

Diocese of Norwich

In 2019, the Bishop of Norwich Diocese, Michael R. Cote, wrote a letter to his parishioners. In the letter he disclosed settlement details paid by the diocese to victims of priest abuse. As of February 2019, the Diocese of Norwich settled nine cases of child sex abuse. The diocese paid a total of $7,681,646.

List of Accused Priests in CT

The following is a list of priests accused of sexual abuse in Connecticut. This list may also include other members of Catholic religious orders such as nuns or brothers. However, this list does not contain the names of church administrative staff, volunteers or congregation members accused of abuse.

If you are unable to find the clergy member you are looking for on our Connecticut priest abuse list, you can use our nationwide, searchable database of accused clergy members. Many priests moved among dioceses and parishes, so the clergy member you are looking for may be listed under a different state or diocese.

If the abusive clergy member you are looking for is not in our database, it does not prevent you from filing a lawsuit. Our database expands as new information comes to light.

If you or a loved one is a survivor of Connecticut priest abuse, we are here to help. Our legal team can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to learn more.



Connecticut Priest Abuse Victim Resources

A victim of sexual abuse can find help and important resources in the state of Connecticut. We’ve identified several statewide programs that survivors can turn to for resources. Additionally, we’ve compiled a list of programs organized by county.

Connecticut Department of Public Health: Sexual Violence Prevention Program

The Connecticut Department of Public Health supports the statewide Sexual Violence Prevention Program. The program aims to prevent sexual violence through education and awareness. The Sexual Violence Prevention Program also supports local rape crisis centers that provide direct support to victims of sexual violence.

The program also provides a statewide hotline for victims of sexual abuse. You can call the Connecticut Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-888-999-5545 (English) or 1-888-568-8332 (Spanish).

For more information about the Sexual Violence Prevention Program, visit its webpage here.

Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence

The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence is a “statewide alliance of individual sexual assault crisis programs.”

The Alliance works through three channels to address sexual violence:

  • Victim assistance
  • Community education
  • Public policy advocacy

The table below lists the rape crisis centers that make up the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. These resources are organized by county.

Sexual Assault Resources in Connecticut by County

CountyFacility NamePhone Number(s)
FairfieldThe Rowan Center
(serving parts of Lower Fairfield County)
Hotline: 203-329-2929
Office: 203-348-9346
FairfieldThe Women’s Center of Greater Danbury
(serving parts of Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties)
Hotline: 203-731-5204
Office: 203-731-5200
FairfieldRape Crisis Center of Milford (serving the town of Shelton in Fairfield County)Hotline: 203-878-1212
Office: 203-874-8712
FairfieldThe Center for Family Justice
(serving parts of Fairfield County)
Hotline: 203-333-2233
Office: 203-334-6154
HartfordSusan B. Anthony Project
(serving the town of Hartland in Hartford County)
Hotline: 860-482-7133
Office: 860-489-3798
HartfordSexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS)
YWCA New Britain
Hotline: 1-888-999-5545
LitchfieldSafe Haven of Greater Waterbury
(serving parts of Litchfield and New Haven Counties)
Hotline: 203-753-3613
Office: 203-575-0388
LitchfieldThe Women’s Center of Greater Danbury
(serving parts of Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties)
Hotline: 203-731-5204
Office: 203-731-5200
LitchfieldSusan B. Anthony Project
(serving parts of Litchfield County)
Hotline: 860-482-7133
Office: 860-489-3798
LitchfieldSexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS)
YWCA New Britain
(serving the town of Plymouth in Litchfield County)
Hotline: 1-888-999-5545
MiddlesexWomen and Families CenterOffice: 203-235-9297
New HavenSafe Haven of Greater Waterbury
(serving parts of Litchfield and New Haven Counties)
Hotline: 203-753-3613
Office: 203-575-0388
New HavenRape Crisis Center of Milford
(serving parts of New Haven County)
Hotline: 203-878-1212
Office: 203-874-8712
New LondonSexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut, Inc.Hotline: 860-456-2789
Office: 860-442-0604 (New London)
Office: 860-456-3595 (Willimantic)
TollandSexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut, Inc.
(serving parts of Tolland County)
Hotline: 860-456-2789
Office: 860-442-0604 (New London)
Office: 860-456-3595 (Willimantic)
TollandSexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS)
YWCA New Britain
(serving parts of Tolland County)
Hotline: 1-888-999-5545
WindhamSexual Assault Crisis Center of Eastern Connecticut, Inc.Hotline: 860-456-2789
Office: 860-442-0604 (New London)
Office: 860-456-3595 (Willimantic)
Source: Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence

How Do I Report Sexual Abuse by a Priest in Connecticut?

If you or a suspected victim of abuse are in immediate danger, call 911. 

To report any sexual abuse:

If any of the following apply to you, contact your local law enforcement agency to make a report:

  • You are the victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault.
  • You know someone is a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault.
  • You have reason to suspect that someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault.

Depending on the circumstances, you should also consider seeking prompt medical care.

For more information about reporting sexual abuse, visit our resource page>

To report sexual abuse of a minor:

If you suspect a child is being sexually abused, call the Connecticut Department of Children and Families at 1-800-842-2288. You can also report the abuse to your local law enforcement agency.

To report sexual abuse to the Archdiocese of Hartford:

If you have reasonable suspicions that a minor has been sexually abused by an employee or clergy member of the Archdiocese of Hartford, make a report to the victim assistance coordinator for the diocese.

Kathleen D. Nowosadko | Victim Assistance Coordinator
Phone: 860‐541‐6475
Email Address: [email protected]

For more information about making a report to the Hartford Archdiocese, consult this resource page.

To report sexual abuse to the Diocese of Bridgeport:

Call the Bridgeport Diocese victim assistance coordinator at (203) 650-3265 or (203) 241-0987 to report sexual abuse in the diocese. You can also file a report online here.

To report sexual abuse to the Diocese of Norwich:

The Diocese of Norwich set up the Diocesan Reporting Line. People can call to report sexual abuse committed by any member of the diocesan staff, including Catholic priests. Call the reporting line at 1-800-624-7407.

Need Support?

Free, Confidential Case Evaluation.

If you or a loved one suffered abuse while involved with the Catholic Church, you have rights.
Receive your response in 24 hours

Ron Meneo, Managing Partner at Meneo Law Group.

Meneo Group managing partner: Ron Meneo

With more than 30 years of practice in product liability and personal injury law, The Meneo Law Group and its partners have helped clients obtain more than $20 billion in total compensation.

Sources [+]

Start typing and press Enter to search