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Reverend Schaeffer Stepping Down Due to Donald J. McGuire Past

Sometimes it feels like the painful and cringe-worthy stories about alleged priest abuse of children in Boston will never come to an end.

The latest bit of unpleasant news features Reverend Bradley M. Schaeffer stepping down from the Boston College board of trustees because he failed to act to stop a predatory priest in the 1990s, reports The Boston Globe.

The alleged predatory priest was Donald J. McGuire in Chicago, where Schaeffer let him continue to serve despite numerous allegations of misconduct and abuse against McGuire.

By and large, the victory that victims achieved by getting Schaeffer to step down is more about symbolism and representation. In terms of legal victory -- in the form of damages -- those are likely to be slim to none. This is because according to Massachusetts law, actions for assault and battery alleging that a person sexually abused a minor must be filed within three years of the acts, or within three of when the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered an emotional or psychological injury.

It is conceivable that an adroit attorney might be able to make an argument that an exception should be made, but it would be an uphill battle. Even more difficult would be the question of where the personal injury child sex abuse case might be filed, given that the original acts occurred in the state of Illinois.

It is always worthwhile to talk to a personal injury attorney when discussing child sex abuse in Boston. However, be forewarned that precisely because it is such a sensitive area many attorneys will want to check and double check all facts presented to them. Child sex abuse cases, after all, draw a considerable amount of attention, both legally and in terms of the media.

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