According to News12, a New York City priest has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman. Father George William Rutler, 75-years-old, has been accused of forcible touching by an overnight security guard at St. Michael the Archangel Church.
The woman alleges that Father Rutler smiled at her, put his hand inside his pants, and began touching himself. She claims she tried to leave his office, but he slammed the door shut, then threw himself on her and grabbed her sexually and aggressively. In fear, the victim claims she texted her mother begging for help.
The female victim called on Black Ops Private Investigators to assist her in filing a police report for forcible touching. NYPD could not comment on the investigation
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville, an experienced sexual assault lawyer, represents sexual assault victims in civil lawsuits. In an interview, we asked Laurence to provide insight into the rights of victims sexually assaulted by a priest.
“Sexual predators are sometimes found in churches. Predators place themselves in positions of trust and power to abuse their victims. This exploitation is seen across all religious organizations. Churches have a legal obligation to do their best to protect their members from predators. If churches do not provide ample protection, they may be considered negligent in assaults that occur.”
“In some cases, sexual abuse only happens because a religious organization was negligent. An example of negligence is if previous misconduct complaints were filed against a priest, but the claims were ignored. Churches should also provide security, for example, cameras around the building to ensure safety. In cases of negligence, victims should know they may have grounds for a lawsuit against the perpetrator and the church itself.”