Sommers Schwartz Fights Against Clergy Sexual Abuse, Offers Support to Victims of Father Donald Hartman
Detroit, Michigan – Sommers Schwartz, a prominent sexual abuse law firm in Detroit, is seeking to take action against Father Donald Hartman on behalf of multiple individuals who have accused the priest of sexually abusing them during their childhood. According to a report released by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, current allegations state that Father Hartman took advantage of his position of power and trust to harm vulnerable children and that the Archdiocese of Marquette failed to take appropriate action to protect them.
Father Hartman served as a priest at American Martyrs Church in Dickinson County, Michigan, where he allegedly sexually assaulted an alter boy. He also served at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish, where another victim claimed to be sexually assaulted. The victims claim that Father Hartman lured them into the rectory under false pretenses, only to abuse them. The victims also allege that Father Hartman threatened them with punishment if they told anyone about the abuse.
“There are victims who have suffered tremendously because of the sexual abuse they endured at the hands of Father Hartman,” said Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller, a senior shareholder of Sommers Schwartz. “We are committed to seeking justice for them and holding the Catholic Church accountable for enabling and perpetuating sexual abuse.”
Sommers Schwartz has a long history of representing victims of sexual abuse and has led the fight to hold priests and other clergy members accountable for their actions. The firm’s senior shareholders and attorneys, Matthew Curtis and Jay Yasso, also have extensive experience in litigating these types of cases and are committed to seeking justice for their clients.
The actions against Father Hartman are part of a broader effort to hold the Catholic Church responsible for the systemic sexual abuse and cover-ups conducted by priests. The Church has been accused of concealing abuse for decades, and recent reports by the Michigan Attorney General revealed that over 40 priests in Michigan have been accused of sexual abuse.
“The sexual abuse of children by clergy is an appalling crime that cannot be ignored,” said Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller. “We stand with the victims of Father Hartman and all others who have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of priests. We will do everything in our power to ensure that they receive the justice they deserve.”
As the fight for justice continues, Sommers Schwartz remains dedicated to its mission of supporting victims of sexual abuse and holding Catholic Church members accountable for their wrongful actions.
DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE INVESTIGATION
Dana Nessel – Michigan Attorney General
Report Released October 27, 2022
Sommers Schwartz is a powerhouse litigation firm made up of experienced personal injury lawyers, medical malpractice attorneys, commercial and business law attorneys, and employee rights lawyers fighting for unpaid wages and overtime. The law firm serves clients across the country from its offices in Michigan and California.
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