First Childhood Sexual Abuse Case Settled Since AB-218

Graphic of a priest accused of abusing a child

According to a report from Turn To 23 ABC News in Bakersfield, the very first childhood sexual abuse case since the new statute of limitations settled in court on January 28, 2020.

Richard Barrios, a 47-year-old man, allegedly suffered childhood sexual abuse by a Catholic priest named Lawrence Lovell. The abuse took place over two years from 1982 to 1984, when Barrios was only nine to eleven years old. And, the settlement–which was with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Lovell himself, and the Claretian Missionaries–reached $1.9 million.

After the proceedings finished, Barrios said the following in a press release:

“For too many years, a culture of silence protected child abusers within the Catholic Church. In my case, this corrupt culture allowed my abuser to continue molesting children. I encourage all his victims and those who were injured by him, and other predator priests to speak out and demand justice.” – Richard Barrios, Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Barrios Wasn’t Lovell’s First Victim

Lovell served in the Phoenix Diocese before moving to Los Angeles in 1984. By 1986, the Church removed him from service and ministry once he was convicted of abusing a 14-year-old boy in Los Angeles. He was also put on three years of probation at that time.

Additionally, Lovell was indicted in 2003 for abusing children in Yavapai County and Maricopa County while assigned to the Sacred Heart Parish in Prescott, CA. Lovell reached plea agreements with those victims and served a 14-year prison sentence in the Central Arizona Correctional Facility.

The Catholic Church Constantly Fails To Protect Children From Sexual Predators Within Their Ranks

The Catholic Church has a disgusting history of covering up childhood sexual assault within their diocese. Unfortunately, Priest Lovell was no different. In fact, attorney and victim advocate Vince Finaldi stated the following in a recent press release:

“This case represents one more failure of the Catholic Church to protect children from a serial sexual predator. I applaud the courage displayed by our client by stepping forward to hold his abuser and the Los Angeles Archdiocese accountable years after his abuse occurred.” – Vince Finaldi

Barrios Is Over 30. So, How Can He File A Childhood Sexual Abuse Claim?

Up until September of last year, the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse claims capped out once the victim made it to age 26. Now, thanks to Assembly Bill 218 and the new statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse claims, victims can come forward up to age 40. To learn more about this new statute of limitations, head over to the Cutter Law P.C. AB-218 page. It has all the information you could ever need on the new statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse claims.

Need Help With A Childhood Sexual Abuse Case? Contact Cutter Law P.C.

Now that the first childhood sexual abuse case settled in court, it’s time to start holding the Catholic Church responsible for its inaction. Fortunately, the attorneys here at Cutter Law P.C. have extensive experience handling childhood sexual abuse claims, lawsuits, and cases. So, if you survived abuse and need help, then contact us for a no-obligation consultation. We’re always standing by to help fight for you. Call today.

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