St. Theresa of Avila—Clergy Sexual Abuse in Silver Lake, CA

Survivors of child sexual abuse often endure decades of pain, negatively impacting their ability to hold down a job or find and maintain a healthy relationship. Survivors of child sexual abuse frequently develop post-traumatic stress disorder, which can cause debilitating flashbacks, panic attacks, and mood disorders. 

When the perpetrator is a clergy member, the abuse can poison the survivor’s relationship with God, the Church, and themselves. 

Know that you are not alone, and the abuse wasn’t your fault. 

Boucher LLP fights for survivors of clergy sexual abuse at St. Theresa of Avila in Silver Lake, California, and elsewhere. We began this battle in the early 2000s, winning a landmark $660 million settlement on behalf of nearly 400 survivors of clergy sexual abuse. And we haven’t slowed down since. 

Clergy Sexual Abuse in Silver Lake, California, at St. Theresa of Avila

Father Clinton V. Hagenbach worked as an Associate Pastor at St. Theresa of Avila from January 7, 1974, to November 5, 1978. Years after his death in 1987, brave young men spoke out about the abuse they suffered at the hands of Father Clinton. These young men described a motorcycle camping trip in which Clinton camped in the desert for “3 to 7 days.” During this trip, Clinton slept in bed with the boys, forcing them to engage in and endure sexual contact. 

On this trip, the young men reported, Clinton gave them “marijuana, alcohol and candies that seem to have induced a drugged state.” One young man recalls that had Clinton shot guns in the desert with the children on the trip as well, no doubt as a scare tactic to keep them compliant and quiet. 

The Church responded to the disclosure of these atrocities by recommending counseling. 


Boucher LLP helps survivors find their voice and strength by advocating for their legal rights. We will listen to your story without judgment and help you understand your legal rights. 

What Are My Legal Rights as a Survivor of Church Sexual Abuse at St. Theresa of Avila in Silver Lake, CA?

If you were abused by Father Clinton Hagenbach or another clergy member at St. Theresa of Avila, you have legal options. You can report the abuse to the police, and they can perform an investigation. Because Clinton Hegenbach is now deceased, he may not be held criminally responsible for the atrocities he committed, but you may be able to file a civil lawsuit. 

Filing a civil lawsuit is often the best course of legal action for survivors because there is a lower burden of proof to have a successful case.

When Do I Have to File a Church Abuse Claim Against Clinton Hagenbach or Others at St. Theresa of Avila?

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse need to file a civil lawsuit within the statute of limitations deadline. Once the deadline has passed, they typically can’t file a lawsuit. 

Fortunately, California law provides survivors of childhood sexual abuse an extended timeframe during which they can file a civil lawsuit against the individual or institution responsible. Those victimized by sex abuse as children usually have 22 years after they turn 18 during which to file a lawsuit. Alternatively, survivors have five years after they realize they suffer from the psychological effects of abuse, typically until they are 40 years old.

But California acknowledges that institutions like the Church engage in practices to cover up allegations of abuse and delay tactics to protect predatory priests. If survivors can show that the Church knew or should have known of a risk to the community and did nothing, then the statute of limitations is extended. 

Boucher LLP—Compassionate and Dedicated Advocacy for Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse 

We understand that it can be a long, painful road after you experience clergy sexual abuse. Admitting that something happened to you is a significant milestone, but the prospect of going to court can be daunting. We are here for you every step and will do everything we can to protect and defend your legal rights during this difficult time. 

Raymond Boucher and his team at Boucher LLP went up against the Church before and won. They will continue to do so and stand up for survivors of clergy abuse. Raymond Boucher has practiced law for over 30 years, advocating for his clients in complex personal injury and class action lawsuits. 

If you were a victim of abuse at St. Theresa of Avila in Silver Lake or any other church in California, contact us online or call our office today at 818-340-5400 to tell us your story and learn how we can help you.