Charlotte Diocese Says it Settles and Pays for Counseling for Victims of Priest

This comes from a story on WSOC-TV.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Members of a support group for people abused by priests want the Charlotte Diocese to admit two priests molested children. Monday, the diocese applauded Pope Francis’ personal apology to four European victims. Pam Wennersten Laico became incredibly emotional as she spoke about how she said a local priest sexually abused her brother. “I can’t believe this one priest destroyed our family, destroyed our entire family,” she said. She and others are now calling on Bishop Peter Jugis to help the four Charlotte area men they say were sexually abused more than 30 years ago. “What has Bishop Jugis done for those four men to help them rebuild their lives and put one foot in front of the other?” Laico said. David Hains, a spokesman for the Charlotte Diocese, said they have made court settlements and paid for counseling. He said the diocese is also taking steps to prevent further abuse. “We have done 37,000 training sessions and 46,000 background checks in the last nine years. We do take it seriously,” Hains said. A judge recently threw out a civil lawsuit against the Charlotte Diocese. The accusers claimed they were abused by two local priests more than 30 years ago. The lawsuit was thrown out because the statute of limitations ran out. A criminal case against one of the priests was also dismissed because he was found to be incompetent to stand trial. Both priests were removed from ministry, but Laico said that isn’t enough. “I would like the Bishop Jugis to personally apologize to these victims and be held accountable,” she said. Hains said the bishop has apologized. Channel 9 obtained a letter from Jugis dated February 2004. It reads, in part, “I express my profound sorrow. [Sex abuse] is a crime.” READ the full letter here. Channel 9 asked to speak with Jugis on Tuesday, but as told he was unavailable for comment. Members of the support group say they will continue to fight, until they feel the victims receive what they deserve, and the diocese is held accountable.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney and Child Advocate


Representing and Advocating for Sex Abuse Victims for Thirty Years

Charlotte Observer on Dismissal of Father Kelleher Criminal Charges

Charlotte Observer article about the Father Kelleher Dismissal.I encourage anyone who thinks prosecuting admitted sex abusers is important to speak out. Let Bishop Jugis, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and your representatives in the legislature know how you feel. Let us hope that some day all convicted sex abusers have to spend some time behind bars.
Father Joseph Kelleher

Former Iredell County Teacher and Pastor Criminally Charged

Pastor Glen McCoy

Another clergyman  got criminally charged today, Pastor Glen McCoy. This time, the alleged abuser was not a priest. I wonder how many victims are out there. Hopefully, this case will be aggressively prosecuted.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney and Child Advocate

A Pioneer in Sex Abuse Litigation in North Carolina




As I expected,the child sex abuse charges to which Father Joseph Kelleher had confessed, were dismissed today, due to his alleged health problems. This action took place nearly four years after Father Kelleher was first charged and after other victims came forward. This was one of, if not, the oldest criminal case, pending in Stanly County, NC.

Justice delayed was justice denied.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney

Dedicated to Advocating on Behalf of Sex Abuse Victims

Update on Father Joseph Kelleher


Today I learned that Father Joseph Kelleher’s criminal case in Stanly County will be heard at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. The stated reason is that it is on for hearing to consider the report to the Court that Father Kelleher was unable to stand trial. It remains my belief that the case will likely be dismissed tomorrow, nearly four years after charges were brought.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney

Representing Sex Abuse Victims for Thirty Years

Why All Sex Abusers Need to Spend Time in Prison

This disgusting story about child sex abuse and child pornography in Harnett County, North Carolina shows a system that repeatedly failed. This perpetrator did not even receive an active sentence on his second offense against children. When will District Attorneys and judges take these crimes seriously?


Seth H. Langson, Attorney and Child Advocate

Thirty Years Experience in North Carolina Representing Victims of Sex Abuse

Court Dismissed Sex Abuse Cases Against Charlotte Docese Because of the Statute of Limitations

Diocese Sex Abuse Cases

Today the trial judge ruled that our clients had waited too long to bring their claims for sex abuse against the Diocese. It is critical to remember that this ruling did not have anything to do with whether the Diocese had covered up and concealed sexual abuse by priests or whether Father Kelleher and/or Father Richard Farwell had abused our clients.

We were looking forward to presenting our case to the jury and introducing all of the evidence about how the Charlotte Diocese has acted no differently than many other dioceses across the country in dealing with such allegations.

Despite the Judge’s ruling, I encourage anyone who was sexually abused by a priest of the Charlotte Diocese to come forward.

This case also should motivate people to demand that our legislatures extend or abolish the civil statute of limitations for sex abuse.

Please pray for the brave survivors who came forward.

We have thirty days from the filing of this Order to appeal.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney and Child Advocate

A Pioneer in Sex Abuse Litigation


Late yesterday, I learned that the criminal case in Albemarle against Fr. Kelleher was placed on an “add on” calendar for next week. This addition was made yesterday afternoon. Shockingly,The District Attorney’s office did not notify any of the victims nor their attorneys of this action. On Monday, they will set the time for the hearing. It could take place as early as Monday.

I believe that the Judge will likely approve the dismissal of the criminal charges against Fr. Kelleher on the grounds that Father Kelleher is “incapable to proceed”. A two sentence report from a Ph.D at Buttner dated June 9, 2014 used those words.

If this occurs, I will have much more to say about Father Kelleher.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney and Child Advocate

Representing Sex Abuse Victims for Thirty Years

When Ignorance is Not Bliss Nor Believable

Last week, it was an American Bishop who made the claim that he did not know that childhood sex abuse was a crime. Now it’s an Australian Marist.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney and Child Advocate



Yesterday, the trial judge in Columbus, Ohio entered an order that allowed Mr. Airey’s attorneys to argue that the statute of limitations has run against my client, Jason Peck. William Airey has always maintained that the alleged abuse was too long ago. A hearing on this issue will be held in advance of the September trial date.  The hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Before moving to Aurora, Illinois, Mr. Airey was in charge of the youth group at Brookwood Presbyterian Church in Columbus. I am very interested in speaking with anyone who knew of, or participated in that youth group.

As I have posted before, numerous other men have come forward alleging that Bill Airey sexually abused them when they were children. Mr. Airey asserted his 5th amendment rights and refused to answer any questions about a number of the alleged victims who came forward.

Whether the statute of limitations has run depends on the facts of each case. Each state and country has its own statute of limitations for both civil and criminal claims. I strongly encourage all abuse survivors to review their situation with an attorney experienced in handling sex abuse cases.

William Airey regularly took children from Mooseheart school to his home and on trips. I have reason to believe that Moose International knew or should have known of Mr. Airey’s unfitness to spend time alone with children.


If you or someone you know was victim of childhood sex abuse by Bill Airey, please call my office at 704-377-1504.


Seth H. Langson, Attorney

Representing Victims of Sex Abuse for Thirty Years