New Film Puts Boston Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal in ‘Spotlight’

The details surrounding Boston’s highly controversial clergy sex abuse scandal have been adapted for the silver screen. 

“Spotlight” is Hollywood’s star-studded offering, depicting the Boston Globe investigation of Boston’s clergy in 2001, one of the most well known cases of investigative journalism. The media outlet comprised a team of reporters, otherwise known as the “Spotlight” team, which eventually uncovered evidence that detailed decades-long abuse at the hands of the city’s clergy. 

To make matters worse, the investigation also uncovered evidence that church leaders had actively covered it up. 

Tom McCarthy, who was part of the team that co-wrote and directed the film, said he was drawn to the story because it “operated on so many levels”. McCarthy also referred to the investigation and subsequent battle with church leaders as “Goliath versus Goliath”.

Walter Robinson, a veteran reporter and editor who led the Boston Globe’s award-winning investigative team, indicated that the journalists were driven to pursue the story based on the unimaginable nature of the crimes. The media eventually discovered that as many as 250 priests had allegedly molested thousands victims over a span of 50 or more years. The investigative team won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage.

“Spotlight” stars Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, John Slattery and Brian d’Arcy James.

Clergy Abuse Claims in the Southwest

Unfortunately, clergy abuse has become a reality for many young children and their families across the country.

Clergy abuse is best defined as the sexual abuse of a minor boy or girl by a minister, priest, or pastor. A number of cases have risen to local and national prominence over the last few years, including the Boston Globe case. 

When this kind of abuse occurs, it can be particularly traumatizing, especially for the victim. Members of the clergy believe themselves to serve in positions of authority next to God, and will tell that to their victims. This causes increased fear and trauma, making the entire process extraordinarily emotionally taxing. 

If someone you know has endured sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the clergy, reaching out to a qualified attorney is a must. Victims of sexual abuse suffer a trauma unlike any other, and need legal representation that is both understanding and compassionate to their situation and future interests. 

Reporting Clergy Sexual Abuse Decades Later

When it comes to filing claims against the clergy for sexual abuse, it is not uncommon for victims to wait long periods of time to admit that they were abused. Statistically, many victims do not come forward until they are in their 40s or 50s, and that presents a new set of hurdles. The diocese may want to deflect blame to a member of the clergy who is now deceased, or insist that there is a lack of evidence or any viable proof. 

If you have been sexually abused by a member of the clergy, regardless of your particular situation, it is important to understand that such cases can be incredibly complex, and must be handled carefully by an experienced legal team. 

The attorneys at Gilstrap & Associates, P.C. understand the difficulties presented in clergy abuse situations, and are available to assist victims of such abuse. Our attorneys have handled approximately 40 cases over the last two decades, and are prepared to help you build a strong and convincing case.

From investigation to helping you seek proper medical or rehabilitative care, our legal team is committed to helping you achieve the full resolution to which you are entitled. 

We understand your struggle, and are here to help you find justice. To schedule your initial consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, give us a call today at (915) 581-0020. We offer a complimentary initial consultation to assess your case.