Holy Trinity Catholic Church—Clergy Sexual Abuse in Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA
Child sexual abuse can have devastating effects on the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of survivors. Predators come in many forms—priests, teachers, and advisors—and engage in grooming practices to manipulate their way into children’s private lives.
But their day of reckoning is HERE.
Boucher LLP, has been helping survivors like you tell their stories and reclaim their agency for decades. Our firm understands the complex emotions and factual underpinnings that exist when church sexual abuse occurs. We will listen to your story and help you develop a legal plan that preserves your rights and respects your wishes.
Background Information on Clergy Sexual Abuse at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Brave survivors have spoken out about the horrific abuse occurring at the hands of priests like the Reverend Clinton Hagenbach. He worked as an associate pastor at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Atwater Village, Los Angeles, from September 24, 1968, to March 7, 1973.
Clinton passed away in 1987. In 2002, a courageous young man came forward and reported the abuse he suffered at the hands of Clinton.
The young man described how Clinton helped pay for his and his brother’s tuition at school. During that time, Clinton would invite “special” altar boys into his room at the rectory for “M&Ms and sodas.” Clinton proceeded to entice the children into his bedroom, which the young man described as housing more M&Ms and sodas, Clinton’s gun collection, and pornographic films. Clinton would have the children wait in his room while he attended mass and performed his religious duties. When he returned, he would force the children to perform and endure sexual activity. He continued this practice for years.
Since then, many more young men have come forward with similar accounts, some recalling that the candies Clinton gave them made them feel “off” and were most likely laced with drugs.
When these courageous survivors came forward, the Church responded by recommending counseling and using delay tactics to avoid confronting the truth.
Although Clinton died years before the young men came forward about the abuse they suffered, their tireless efforts paid off. More survivors are coming forward to speak out against the wrongs they endured as they realize they are not alone.
Boucher LLP, fights for justice on behalf of those victimized by clergy members. Even if your abuser has died, the leaders and institutions that turned a blind eye to their actions or ignored reports may be held accountable. In 2007, Boucher LLP’s founding partner, Ray Boucher, secured a critical settlement on behalf of nearly 400 survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The trauma informed sexual abuse attorneys at Boucher LLP have not stopped seeking justice on behalf of survivors since.
How Long Do I Have to File a Church Abuse Claim?
California’s AB 218, which went into effect in 2019 expands the old statute of limitations—or deadline—for survivors to bring claims against predatory clergy members and the church or religious institution that enabled them.
Under the new law, survivors of child sexual abuse can typically file a claim within 22 years after they turn 18 years old or five years after they learn or should have learned that they suffered psychological illness because of the abuse. The California statute further provides an important exception that may further expand the applicable statute of limitations in your case.
Under the exception, if the Church knew or reasonably should have known that the clergy member posed a risk to children and did nothing, the survivor may commence an action past their 40th birthday.
This additional three years for survivors whose claims were previously time barred to bring a claim, also known as a “lookback window” may be a lifeline to those victimized by spiritual leaders, including Hagenbach, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Atwater Village of Los Angeles. Tragically, people like Cardinal Roger Mahoney did nothing to protect children from offending clergy members like Reverend Clinton Hagenbach. In some cases, members of the Church engaged in cover-up practices to avoid criminal and civil liability.
Boucher LLP—Advocating for Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse in Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA
At Boucher LLP, we are ready to listen to your story and help you understand your legal rights. Our team includes Ray Boucher, a dedicated clergy sexual abuse attorney who has fought for survivors’ rights—and won—time and again. Among his many accolades is receiving the highest “Peer Reviewed AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
If you or someone you love suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a clergy member, call our compassionate and dedicated team trauma informed advocates today at 818-340-5400 or contact us online.