State laws in the United States vary when it comes to sexual abuse charges. In the state of Pennsylvania, there are important distinctions between sexual assault and rape that a defendant should be aware of to properly understand their case. In addition, there are various types of sexual assault and rape that someone could be charged with.
It appears that church officials and sexual abuse victims alike are seeking a shared resolution which would provide justice to all parties that have been inflicted by the clergy abuse crimes.
Making any sexual abuse claim -- especially one involving a member of the clergy like a Catholic bishop or Catholic priest -- is a gut-wrenching process that can take years before even a glimpse of possibly obtaining peace of mind.
In the criminal justice system, people charged with a crime are entitled to a defense. In Philadelphia, the dedicated attorneys who defend the accused are members of an elite law firm known as Scarpello & LaTour. These are their stories.