3 Women Settle Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against Priest & Schoenstatt Order
Three women have found closure and a sense of justice now that their sexual abuse claim against Reverend Gerold Langsch and the Schoenstatt Order has ended in a confidential settlement. Attorney Sean Breen of Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP in Austin represented the three women throughout their clergy sex abuse claim and played an instrumental role in resolving it successfully. He has been quoted as saying, “I am so proud of and happy for each one of these women, that their voice was heard, and so grateful for our system of justice and the right to a jury trial.”
The lawsuit began only a month ago when the three women – whose identities will remain undisclosed for confidentiality and privacy – sued Reverend Langsch and the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin (Schoenstatt Order). In 2019, Langsch pleaded no contest on charges of groping one of the women while administering her last rites, which resulted in a 300-day probation sentence and a fine of just $1,000. The lawsuit cited that incident of sexual abuse, several other forms of sexual abuse and inappropriate touching carried out by Langsch, and the institutionalized negligence of the Schoenstatt Order.
According to the plaintiffs and information from the Diocese of Austin, at least one other woman had filed a credible sexual abuse complaint against Langsch as early as 2017. Despite this woman identifying Langsch as the assailant, the Schoenstatt Order did nothing to remove him from his position to prevent further sexual aggressions, ultimately and negligently allowing him to later sexually abuse the three women who filed the claim. The Diocese of Austin has maintained that it first heard of the accusations against Langsch in early 2019.
This case result serves as a powerful message to clergy sexual abuse survivors and perpetrators alike. Men and women who have been abused and exploited by a clergy member can speak up and seek justice and fair compensation through court systems. Oftentimes, the most difficult step is the first decision to seek legal action, as well as finding a law firm equipped to manage such a sensitive, high-stakes claim.
If you require a compassionate, professional, and experienced law firm to help you with a clergy sexual abuse claim, please call Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP in Austin at (512) 430-4844. Our entire team, including Partner-Attorney Sean Breen, is ready to amplify your voice and give you the chance you need to find the closure you deserve.