In February 2019, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis announced that one of their priests, a man who had been ordained in 2014, had been suspended. The reason? He was the latest Catholic priest to be accused of sexually abusing a minor. Now he has been officially charged with child sex crimes.
Contact our team today to speak with an Indiana Catholic Church sexual abuse lawyer.
According to police records, the allegations against Father David Marcotte came to light in February 2019 and relate to incidents that took place in 2016. Court documents revealed that Marcotte allegedly revealed his genitals during video chats with the victim who was under the age of 16 at the time.
These video chats took place over several platforms, including Instagram, Facetime, and Snapchat. Court documents further note that Marcotte allegedly engaged in sexually explicit conduct during the videos. Following an investigation into the matter, Marcotte has been charged with child solicitation, vicarious sexual gratification, and dissemination of matter harmful to minors.
After noting that Marcotte was suspended from his duties just days after the police were notified about the alleged sexual misconduct, the Indianapolis Archdiocese stated that: “The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is committed to protecting children and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse and misconduct.”
This is the first time that a Catholic priest from Indianapolis has been accused of sexual assault. In fact, just last year the Archdiocese released the names of 19 priests who had “credible” accusations of sexual assault against a minor against them. How did the church determine if accusations were credible? Each case was reviewed by a Review Board made up of five laypeople and one member of the clergy.
The Church asks that victims contact them to report any abuse and to obtain help but the past actions of Catholic Church officials show that sexual assault allegations are frequently covered up by the Church.
In early 2019, three men joined forces to file a lawsuit against the Diocese of Lafayette, IN, alleging that in the 70’s and 80’s when they were all 12 or 13 years old, they were sexually abused by a priest, James Grear. The assaults took place during a youth rally and in the priest’s apartment.
When the attacks were reported to the Bishop, he told the then children that they shouldn’t bother reporting it and that they needed to pray for forgiveness. Grear was occasionally sent away for long trips and the plaintiffs claim this was because the church knew he was assaulting children and moved him around to hide the issue. They further allege that the Diocese was negligent because they did not warn parents or parishioners about the abuse.
These three men are just a few of the thousands of plaintiffs who have decided to take legal action against the priests who abused them and against the individuals and organizations that protected their abusers.
A sexual abuse lawsuit has many purposes. First, it sends a message to those who have committed an assault or protected an abuser, letting them know that their actions will not go unnoticed. Second, it provides the plaintiffs involved with the chance to recover compensation.
It’s true that compensation can’t do anything to change what has happened in the past, however, it can ensure that a plaintiff gets the medical and psychological care that they need for the rest of their lives.
At Abuse Guardian, we want the survivors of sexual abuse to know that we believe you. We can protect your identity throughout the entire legal process and will fight aggressively for the maximum amount possible. Together, we can fight for justice.