St. Bernard Church—Clergy Sexual Abuse in Los Angeles, CA

For a long time, clergy sexual abuse claims were not often spoken of. However, in recent years, more and more survivors are finding their voice and seeking the justice they long deserved. 

In the late 1970’s, Theodore Llanos was a priest at St. Bernard Church in Los Angeles California. He was accused of sexually abusing dozens of children over two decades. If you or someone you love suffered abuse at the hands of Llanos, it is not too late to come forward and tell your story. As with many clergy abuse cases, it is not only the perpetrator who is liable for the abuse. Any other adult or organization that failed to prevent or report the abuse may be held legally responsible. This may include other employees or volunteers of the church as well as the Archdiocese. 

Church Abuse Claim, St. Bernard Church in California

Llanos reportedly sexually abused at least 30 children over a two-decade period. In the early years of his priesthood, in the late 1970’s, he was assigned to St. Bernard Church in Los Angeles, California. Although the abuse began decades earlier, it was not until the 1990’s that the Archdioceses sent him to an in-patient program intended to “rehabilitate” priests with pediophiliac tendencies. Llanos committed suicide shortly thereafter. 

Although Llanos himself is long gone, claims against the institution that enabled, fostered, or intentionally covered up, his sexual abuse of children are still viable. If you or someone you love was abused by Llanos in any way, it is not too late to seek compensation for your suffering. Our attorneys are ready to advocate for you. The first step is to give us a call and speak to one of our trauma informed attorneys or intake specialists.

California Child Victims Act

On January 1, 2020, California implemented the Child Victims Act, which expanded the rights of childhood abuse survivors. Most importantly, it expanded the statute of limitations or timeframe within which a sexual abuse survivor has to file a civil lawsuit against the institution that put the perpetrator involved into a position in which they were able to sexually abuse children. Now a survivor can file a claim for damages:

  • Up to the age of 40, or 
  • Five years after the survivor discovers (or reasonably should have discovered) their psychological injury was caused by their childhood sexual assault, whichever of the two occurs latest.

The Act also implemented a three-year grace period in which survivors can file a civil lawsuit for claims that otherwise would be beyond the statute of limitations. This three-year window expires on January 1, 2023. As is often the case with childhood sexual abuse, survivors often repress their memories or may be too embarrassed to initially report the abuse. The expanded statute of limitations allows additional time for these survivors to come forward. 

What Does This Mean for You?

If you are a survivor over the age of 40 or it has been longer than five years since you discovered your psychological injury was caused by the abuse, you still have time to file a civil lawsuit. Church sexual abuse claims can involve many individuals or entities. If the church knew or should have known that their employee, volunteer, representative, or agent engaged in childhood sexual abuse, they may be held liable for failing to prevent the abuse. 

Our compassionate attorneys at Boucher LLP are dedicated to helping survivors tell their story despite how much time may have passed. You deserve justice no matter how long it has been since the abuse occurred. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options. 

The Attorneys of Boucher LLP Fight for Survivors’ Rights

If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and believe you may have a church abuse claim involving St Bernard Church, choosing the right attorney is key. Clergy sexual abuse claims are unique, and survivors deserve knowledgable and compassionate representation. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us to schedule a private, confidential, no-obligation consultation.