Hi - I’m Jeff. I am a lawyer licensed to practice law in Indiana. Our attorneys fight every day for the rights of sexual abuse victims. My team and I are ready to help.
According to WTHR Channel 13, 57-year-old Father David Huneck resigned from his positions as chaplain at Bishop Dwenger High School as well as a priest at Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Church following accusations that he sexually assaulted a minor. St Paul of the Cross Catholic Church is located at 315 S Line St, Columbia City, IN 46725. Bishop Dwenger High School is located at 1300 E Washington Center Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
On September 19, 2021, The Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend was made aware of the alleged sexual assault incident with Huneck and the minor. They reported the information to Indiana's Department of Child Services in addition to the police.
Huneck has since stepped away from both positions. Law enforcement is working together with the Diocese in the investigation. Officials are concerned more victims could have been hurt by Huneck and encourage them or anyone with information to come forward.
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson is an experienced sexual assault attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse and their families in Indiana. Jeff has kindly taken the time to share some legal rights of victims assaulted sexually by a high school chaplain.
"Religious institutions, including schools and churches, have a legal obligation to protect their students and congregation. Having a position of power, like a high school chaplain, means that students trust and respect them. Sadly, predators are able to obtain these positions and take advantage of students and congregation members. It is up to the religious institution to maintain security and protection in order to prevent an assault from happening. This should include background checks prior to employment and having security cameras throughout the campus. If sufficient preventative measures are not taken by the institution, they could be held responsible for negligence in a lawsuit if abuse occurs."
"Sexual assault victims along with their families are advised to explore their legal options with the help of an experienced sexual assault attorney. Often sexual assault happens due to negligence on behalf of the religious institution. This negligence could include if the religious institution was alerted of prior misconduct yet neglected to file a report or further investigate. If this is the case, the victim's families need to know their legal rights in order to file a lawsuit against the religious institution."