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Were You Sexually Abused by Father Louis John Affrica at Bishop McNamara High School or Elsewhere?

Perpetrators

Were You or a Loved One a Victim of Abuse by Father Louis John Affrica?

After an extensive investigation, the Maryland Attorney General’s office released its 450+ page Report on Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2023. This report shows a repeated pattern of abuse and cover-ups within the Archdiocese spanning several decades, as known abusers were often moved to new assignments instead of facing consequences for their actions. One individual in this report who faced accusations from multiple victims was Father Louis John Affrica, although the church never followed up on these allegations.

Unfortunately, more victims may exist as Affrica had ample exposure to many children in the 1970s, 80s, and beyond as a teacher, priest, youth group organizer, and social worker. If you suffered abuse from Father Affrica or any other priest named in the report, you deserve justice and closure. Contact our skilled religious institution sexual abuse lawyers to learn more about your legal options.

Who Was Father Affrica and Where Did He Serve?

Prior to his ordination in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1975, Father Louis John Affrica was a teacher. He first taught at Monsignor Coyle High School in Taunton, Massachusetts, from 1966 to 1970. He then transferred to Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland, where he taught until 1973. Following this, he had a short tenure from 1973 to 1974 as a deacon at St. Michael-Overlea in Baltimore. During the mid to late 1970s, he organized at least one youth group for local teenage boys from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

  • Following his ordination in 1975, he served at the following locations:
  • Our Lady of Victory, Baltimore, Maryland: Associate pastor, 1975-1976
  • Holy Trinity, Glen Burnie, Maryland: Temporary associate pastor, summer 1976
  • St. Michael-Overlea, Maryland: Associate pastor, 1977
  • St. Ann, Hagerstown, Maryland: Associate pastor, 1977-1980
  • In 1981, Father Affrica took a leave of absence from the ministry and married. He later became a licensed clinical social worker and never returned to priestly duties. He requested laicization through a letter in April 2016 and died in June of the same year.

What Are the Allegations Against Father Affrica?

So far, two individuals have come forward to accuse Affrica of abuse in the 1970s. The first was a man who was 15 years old in 1973. He alleged in 2005 that Affrica sexually abused him from 1973 to 1976 while he was involved in a youth group organized by the priest. He claimed that Father Affrica would take students on retreats where the priest consumed alcohol and marijuana with them. The victim said the sexual abuse occurred on multiple occasions on these retreats and during visits to the rectory. The abuse continued even as Father Affrica moved to new assignments.

The second victim who came forward in 2007 was a 15 or 16-year-old girl in the late 1970s. She met Father Affrica while he was an associate pastor at St. Ann. She alleges that he plied her and other teenagers with alcohol at the rectory and then sexually abused her.

The Archdiocese never investigated these claims because Affrica had already left the ministry in 1981. He also has not been listed as credibly accused by the Archdiocese. However, it should be noted that in his 2016 letter requesting laicization, he claimed he regretted “any confusion to the faithful my actions may have caused around the time of my departure.” He did not specify the nature of the actions.

Can You Bring a Civil Suit For the Abuse You Suffered?

Child sexual abuse can leave an indelible mark on victims. When individuals in positions of power misuse their status to prey upon those who look up to them, it can result in a lifetime of struggles as the victims try to process and cope with the abuser’s actions. Even as an adult, it can be frightening and intimidating to speak up about childhood abuse, particularly when that abuse occurred within a religious setting.

Predators in the priesthood often utilize tactics such as threats, intimidation, and shame to keep their deeds from becoming public. However, confronting an abuser and seeking justice for the harm they caused can be an important part of the healing process. You have the right to file a civil lawsuit to hold the Church or Archdiocese accountable for their negligence and failure to protect you from sexual abuse, even if the abuser has passed away.

Do I Have Legal Options if the Abuse Occurred Over Twenty Years Ago?

As evidenced by the Maryland AG’s report, clergy abuse has been an ongoing issue in the Baltimore Archdiocese for many decades. While several victims have reported the abuse they suffered as children, it is likely many more have yet to come forward with their stories. In light of this groundbreaking report, the Maryland legislature recognized the need to rethink the laws regarding civil actions for sexual abuse. Previously, the state’s statute of limitations blocked victims from filing suit if the abuse occurred 20 or more years ago.

The Child Victims Act of 2023, which goes into effect on October 1st, 2023, eliminates Maryland’s statute of limitations on child sexual abuse claims. This change will allow all victims to seek justice for the harm they suffered, no matter when it occurred. The Act also increases the liability limits on non-economic damages in certain cases.

How Can Our Compassionate Legal Team Assist You?

The extent of the abuse uncovered by the Maryland AG’s report is stunning and heartbreaking. Victims who have lived with the aftermath of abusive actions perpetrated by priests like Father Affrica know first-hand the immense pain and challenges these heinous acts have caused. The Church and Archdiocese failed to protect their most vulnerable members and sometimes even went to great lengths to shield abusers from consequences.

At Andreozzi + Foote, our experienced lawyers are here to assist victims who wish to hold accountable their abusers and the negligent institutions who enabled them. We know that speaking up about past abuse can be intensely emotional and difficult, but we are here to provide caring support and strong legal guidance every step of the way. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, contact our office at 866-311-8640 today.

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