Chile court opens door for more Church sex abuse victims to seek damages


March 28, 2019

By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda

Chile’s Catholic Church should prepare itself for an onslaught of new civil suits from victims seeking compensation for past cases of sexual abuse, a lawyer who successfully sued the Archdiocese of Santiago said on Thursday.

Juan Pablo Hermosilla said a Chilean court’s decision on Wednesday to force Chile’s most influential archdiocese to pay his clients more than $400,000 in damages has opened the door for other “victims of abuse in church settings,” to seek financial compensation.

The appeals court decision is the first to require Chile’s powerful Roman Catholic Church to pay damages related to an ongoing sex abuse scandal that last year prompted Pope Francis to apologize to the church’s community worldwide.

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