MD Choir Director Resigns in Sex Abuse Scandal

MD Choir Director Resigns in Sex Abuse Scandal

The director of the Catholic Church-affiliated Maryland State Boychoir, a redacted name from the sweeping Attorney General sex abuse report, has resigned. His name has since been revealed by The Baltimore Sun. Frank T. Cimino, Jr. was the minister of music at St. Thomas More Catholic Church when he allegedly sexually abused a choirboy in the 1970s. He was fired from the position in 1987 amid the allegations and went on to found the Maryland Boychoir that very same year.

The Boychoir was based at St. Matthew United Church of Christ in northeast Baltimore and has been named an official goodwill ambassador of the state of Maryland, performing at the White House, the Vatican, and other prominent locations.

If you or a loved one was sexually abused as a minor by a member of the Catholic Church, you are not alone. You are not at fault. When you are ready to talk, the compassionate child sexual abuse survivor lawyers at The Yost Legal Group are here to help: 1-800-YOST-LAW.

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse has immediate and long-term consequences for childhood survivors. Sex abuse is any unconsented physical or non-physical contact calculated, at least in part, to gratify the abuser’s sexual urges. Children cannot consent to such conduct as a matter of law.

Immediately or shortly after sexual abuse, especially in an institutional setting, survivors often show symptoms like:

  • Nightmares and or other sleeping difficulties
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Angry outbursts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Some survivors show these symptoms, while others show none. An ounce of prevention could be worth a pound of cure. Teach children about body safety and healthy body boundaries. Also, encourage open communication about sexual matters that the child, or the caregiver, might consider embarrassing.

This cure often involves extensive therapy. A compassionate and experienced Baltimore City childhood sexual abuse survivor lawyer can help survivors obtain the compensation and resources they need to fight their trauma.

These effects are age specific. For example, a young child may act out by running away from a “bad man” repeatedly. The play may or may not be specific to the sexual abuse. Additional signs of stress, an increase in oppositional or withdrawn behavior, tantrums, or nightmares, are red flags as well.

Other young children engage in age-inappropriate sexual behavior, such as trying to engage another child in oral-genital contact or simulated intercourse. These survivors also often say their bodies are “hurt” or “dirty.”

As children grow into adolescence and develop more autonomy, the difficulties they can get into may be more serious. Teenagers might be more likely to abuse substances or engage in high-risk behaviors, including indiscriminate sexual behavior.

A teenager avoiding traumatic reminders may withdraw socially. Cutting, self-harm, and suicidal behaviors are also more common among adolescents.

Childhood sexual abuse also affects adult personal and professional relationships. These survivors do not know why they have a hard time functioning at work or home. Not knowing exacerbates the problem.

Frank T. Cimino, Jr., Sexual Abusers, and the Law

Frank T. Cimino, Jr. was just one of 156 named sexual abusers in the Maryland attorney general’s report. Cimino sexually abuse a choirboy in the 1970s. Why did he see no consequences until he was fired in 1987? Why was he able to get a new job working with children? Why was there no follow up by the police?

Too often, the Catholic Church and churches of all Christian denominations hide the abhorrent behavior of their ministers and priests. They are supposed to be trustworthy authority figures.

We have also seen area police allow various churches to handle these criminal matters on their own, which usually just means a “shuffling of the deck” of priests from one church or parish to another. This is not justice.

An experienced childhood sexual abuse lawyer typically uses one of two legal doctrines—negligent hiring and negligent supervision—to obtain compensation in these cases.

Usually, negligent hiring is hiring a person and not asking the right questions or performing the appropriate background checks. Dropping the matter prematurely could also be negligent. For example, if John Doe’s former boss says some “personal issues” led to his resignation, John Doe’s possible future boss should ask the former boss to be specific.

Negligent supervision is generally ignoring a problem or sweeping it under the rug. The Maryland Catholic Church, along with other organizations inside and outside the state, negligently supervised its employees for decades. These organizations had a chance to do the right thing. Since they did not do so, damages in these cases are often substantial.

Survivors Are Entitled to Significant Compensation

If you or a loved one is a childhood sexual abuse survivor ready to seek the justice you deserve, The Yost Legal Group is here to help. All of our consultations are confidential. All of our consultations are free. You are not alone. This was not your fault. If you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call our compassionate childhood sexual abuse survivors today: 1-800-967-8529.