North Carolina Personal Injury Lawsuit: Parents of Child Sex Abuse Victim Sue the Diocese of Charlotte

April 27, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A North Carolina personal injury lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Charlotte by the parents of a girl who was allegedly molested by a music minister at St. Eugene Catholic Church in Asheville. Rev. John Schneider, who is the church’s former pastor, and Paul Berrell, the man accused of abusing the victim, are also defendants.

Police say that the girl was coerced into sex with Paul Berrell, who was giving her voice and piano lessons. The victim was 13 when Berrell was arrested in 2009. The 31-year-old music minister would go on to plead guilty to the charge of producing child pornography. He has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

In their North Carolina injury lawsuit, the teenager’s parents say that she suffered permanent damage to her emotional and sexual development, severe mental anguish, and loss of faith in authority figures. They blame the church for teaching her that people like Berrell were “holy people” who had “special access to God,” and they contend that Berrell “singled out and groomed” their daughter so he could have “intercourse” and “other sex actions” with her.

The plaintiffs say that Schneider went to Berrell’s apartment after the latter was arrested and tried to delete the pornographic images from a computer. They also contend that even when the Diocese of Charlotte has been given credible information that a certain employee or priest was a “sexual abuser,” the church would still protect that person.

North Carolina Child Sexual Abuse
If your child was sexually abused or you were sexually abused as a child, you may be able to hold your abuser liable for Charlotte, North Carolina personal injury. Sexual abuse can cause serious psychological and emotional damage, impairing a victim for life. Even if your abuser isn’t charged in criminal court, you may still be able to file a civil lawsuit.

Asheville lawsuit targets Catholic church conduct, Ashville Citizen-Times, April 24, 2011

Paul Lawrence Berrell Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge of Production of Child Pornography, FBI, March 11, 2010

Music Minister Accused Of Sex Crime With Minor, WYFF4, May 19, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Diocese of Charlotte

Child Sex Abuse, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

More Blog Posts:
North Carolina Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Bishop Eddie Long, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, September 27, 2010

Charlotte Catholic Diocese Settles North Carolina Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit for $1 Million, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 7, 2010

North Carolina Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Names Two Priests as the Perpetrators, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2009



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