Nebraska Clergy Abuse Lawsuits
Multiple survivors have filed clergy abuse lawsuits against Catholic priests in Nebraska. Many of these survivors have also named Nebraskan dioceses as defendants in these lawsuits. These lawsuits accuse the dioceses of concealing, thereby contributing to sexual abuse committed by clergy members.
Clergy Abuse Settlements In Nebraska
Several lawsuits filed against Nebraska’s dioceses have ended in favorable verdicts or clergy abuse settlements for survivors. For example, in 2002, the Archdiocese of Omaha paid an $800,000 jury award for a priest abuse survivor and his family.
The archdiocese has paid at least seven other settlements to survivors of priest sexual abuse. However, the financial details of these settlements were never publicly disclosed.
Child Sex Abuse Statutes Of Limitations In Nebraska
Survivors of childhood sexual abuse must comply with the statute of limitations when seeking legal action.
Nebraska has different legal statutes for bringing criminal charges against an abuser versus filing a civil lawsuit.
Civil Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In Nebraska
In Nebraska, there is no civil statute for child sexual assault claims filed against the perpetrator. However, civil claims against other responsible defendants must be filed before the victim reaches 33 years of age.
For example, if a priest sexually abuses a minor in Nebraska, the survivor has unlimited time to file a civil lawsuit against the priest. If a Catholic diocese played a role in concealing the abuse, the survivor would need to file a civil claim against the diocese before their 33rd birthday.
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Criminal Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In Nebraska
In Nebraska, there is no criminal statute of limitations for the following sexual offenses:
- Sexual assault in the first or second-degree
- Sexual assault of a child in the first, second or third-degree
- Sex trafficking of a minor
Learn more about Nebraska’s criminal statutes related to child sexual abuse and sexual assault here.
Note: The state of Nebraska defines a minor as anyone under the age of 19.
List Of Nebraska Priests Accused Of Abuse
Below is a list of priests accused of abuse in Nebraska. It may also include other Catholic clergy members facing similar sexual abuse allegations in the state.
The list does not include diocesan staff members or volunteers accused of child sexual abuse. However, you may still be eligible to sue these individuals under the state’s statutes of limitations.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an abusive priest in Nebraska, consider legal action. We are here to help you seek justice.
Survivors May Be Eligible For Compensation
Learn About Filing a Lawsuit in Nebraska
There Are 38 Accused Clergy Members From The Archdiocese Of Omaha, NE:
- Allgaier, Robert
- Arkfeld, Richard M.
- Buckson, John R.
- Cleary, Donald M.
- Colbert, Richard
- Dressel, Willard J.
- Dvorak, Franklin
- Fiala, John M.
- Finch, Joseph
- Gaughan, James M.
- Gill, Edward Bryan
- Glennon, Thomas
- Henry, Joseph
- Henry, Patrick
- Herek, Daniel P.
- Ho, Joseph Hiepvan
- Kelly, Michael J.
- Kenney, Daniel J.
- Kruse, Jay L.
- Lukes (Lucas), Duane W.
- McMahon, Aloysius J.
- Merkel, Mark K.
- Morales Jordan, Emilio
- Nigli, Francis A.
- Palmese, Anthony D.
- Peschel, Roland A.
- Petrusic, Anthony
- Pickett, Robert
- Purnell, Tom
- Rizzo, John C.
- Salanitro, Alfred J.
- Sellentin, Thomas
- Starostka, John C.
- Steinhausen, Robert O.
- Syring, Andrew
- Thome, Duane
- Toms Kulangara, Larry
- Zyla, Jeffrey L.
If you cannot find the abusive clergy member you are looking for among the dioceses above, try searching their name in our national database of accused clergy members.
The abuser you are looking for may be facing abuse allegations in another state. Thus, they may be listed under a diocese in that state.
If the clergy member you are looking for is not in our database, you may still be able to file a lawsuit. Speak with our attorneys today to determine if legal action is right for you.
Note: The Diocese of Grand Island has not released a public list of Nebraskan priests accused of abuse.
History Of Clergy Abuse In Nebraska
In 2021, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office released a report identifying more than 250 clergy abuse victims.
According to the list released by the Archdiocese of Omaha in 2018, at least 38 former clergy members have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct. The allegations against these clergy members date back as early as 1956.
Of the 38 accused clergy members, 24 were under the archdiocese’s control when the allegations were brought forth. These clergy members are all now deceased or have been removed from public ministry.
The archdiocese’s list also includes 10 visiting priests and four deacons facing allegations of sexual abuse.
In 2019, the Diocese of Lincoln published a list of nine priests facing substantiated claims of abuse. The Diocese of Grand Island has not released a public list of Nebraskan priests accused of abuse.
Nebraska Priest Abuse Victim Resources
Nebraska Priest Abuse FAQs
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Clergy Sexual Abuse In Nebraska?
In Nebraska, there is no statute of limitations to file a claim against an abuser, such as an abusive priest or clergy member. However, there are other civil statutes of limitations for cases against other types of defendants.
How Do I Report Sexual Abuse By A Priest In Nebraska?
If you or a suspected victim is in danger, call 911 immediately.
Nebraska’s mandatory reporting laws require all residents to report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect. This includes suspected incidents of child sexual abuse. Failure to do so could result in a fine or prison sentence.
To report child abuse in Nebraska, call the state Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800-652-1999. You may also call your local law enforcement agency to report suspected abuse.
If you or someone you know was sexually abused by a Nebraskan priest or clergy member, you can also report the incident to the relevant diocese.
Report Abuse To The Omaha Archdiocese
Mary Beth Hanus L.C.S.W., L.M.H.P. | Victim Outreach and Prevention Director
Phone: [email protected]
Report Abuse To The Grand Island Diocese
Diocesan Victim Assistance
Report Abuse To The Lincoln Diocese
Jeff Hohlen | Victim Assistance and Safe Environment Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
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Meneo Group managing partner: Ron Meneo
Ron Meneo is the managing partner of The Meneo Law Group. With more than 40 years of experience, he represents clients across the country on a variety of complex legal matters, including personal injury due to institutional sexual abuse, unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and other practice areas. He is a recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious AV® Preeminent Rating. He has also served as an editor and contributor for several legal journals.
Archdiocese of Omaha. (2018, July 9). Victim Assistance. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
Beck, M.A. (2003, January 4). Omaha Catholic Archdiocese Announces Members Of Sexual Abuse Review Board. The Associated Press. Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan.
Beck, M.A. (2018, November 30). Omaha archdiocese: 38 clergy accused of sex abuse since ’78. The Associated Press.
Catholic Diocese of Grand Island. (N.D.) Diocese of Grand Island Victim Assistance. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
Catholic Diocese of Lincoln. (N.D.) Diocese of Lincoln priests against whom substantiated allegations of childhood sexual abuse have been reported. September 8, 2021.
Catholic Diocese of Lincoln. (N.D.) Victim Assistance. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
Child USA. (2020, February 17). Nebraska Child Sex Abuse SOLs. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. (N.D.) Get Help. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. (N.D.) Child Abuse. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
RAINN. (N.D.) Criminal Statutes of Limitations Nebraska. Retrieved September 8, 2021.