Who is Michael Lowell Barnes?
Michael Lowell Barnes, a former Associate Pastor at St. Clare School in Essex in the 1970s and Saint Mary Catholic Church in Cumberland, Maryland, in the 1980s. Early in his career, he had several leaves of absence and received treatment. “Treatment” was a primary intervention for the church for known sexual abusers.
There is a documented history of complaints against Barnes for having young boys sleepover in the rectory. A note in his file stated that he “could be dangerous.” He sexually abused a minor in Ocean City, Maryland. Barnes is among the over 156 predator clergy members in the Grand Jury Report on the Baltimore Archdiocese.
He remained with several parishes in DC through 2007. In 2010, Barnes was found guilty of sexual abuse of a minor over six years from 1977 to 1983. Barnes received six months in prison and is a registered sex offender in Maryland. He remained with several parishes in DC through 2007. He died in 2017.
What we know to be true of child sexual offenders is where there is one victim, there usually are more.
You are not alone.
Andreozzi + Foote lawyers offer experience and a trauma-informed approach when seeking justice for our clients.
How Can A Civil Lawsuit Help Victims Seek Justice For The Trauma They May Have Experienced?
There are many misunderstandings about why a survivor of sexual abuse would choose to file a civil lawsuit. Child sexual abuse takes away so much from the survivors and families impacted. Our society still struggles to find ways to repair the harm done by individual perpetrators and institutions that have covered up child sexual abuse. Outdated statutes of limitations across our country leave far too many survivors denied access to our criminal or civil justice courts.
Filing a civil case can be an essential step for survivors and their families in their journey to slowly rebuild their lives and create pathways to healing. Motivation for filing a civil suit is often questioned and unfairly stereotyped as being “all about money. The concept of filing a civil lawsuit casts survivors as “money hungry” and is weaponized to shame and blame them even more. This couldn’t be further from the truth for survivors of child sexual abuse. The civil justice system offers victims more than just monetary benefits. It gives survivors access to justice, validation, exposure, confrontation, and ultimately some resolution. The resolution allows survivors of sexual abuse to understand and process what happened and create a new path forward without confusion, questions, and fear.
Can I file a lawsuit against the Catholic Church for the abuse Father Michael Lowell Barnes committed?
The skilled lawyers of Andreozzi + Foote have experience working with Maryland’s new law. Previously time-barred victims can now file civil lawsuits for child sexual abuse. If you were a Michael Lowell Barnes victim, you could take action against the church for failing to protect you or your child.
We know it can be hard to talk about these experiences. Our compassionate sexual abuse lawyers are here to listen and provide knowledgeable legal guidance. We provide free, confidential case evaluations where you can learn more about your rights and options under your state’s laws, contact Andreozzi + Foote today.