Kelly Clark, Attorney | Priest Sex Abuse

Kelly Clark, Catholic Sex Abuse Attorney

Welcome to, a website of Kelly Clark, attorney at law. Mr. Clark is a trial and appellate lawyer, and a principal in the law firm of O’Donnell Clark & Crew LLP .  For nearly twenty years, Kelly Clark has been recognized as one of the leading advocates in the Western United States for victims of child sex abuse, especially cases involving abuse by priests, nuns, and other trusted adults from the Catholic Church.

We know child sex abuse survivors must work through incredibly complex emotions of confusion, anger, shame, and depression as they take back their emotional and spiritual power from the perpetrators who abused them and the institutions that sponsored the relationships out of which the sexual abuse arose. We know this process often takes a long time. We also know for many survivors of sexual abuse, it is a huge step even to admit to themselves, let alone to others, that such unspeakable crimes were committed against them. Sometimes the process of disclosure itself can take years, even decades.  We also know that for someone who grew up Catholic, and was abused in that context, the resulting damage—psychological, emotional, spiritual—is profound.  Survivors of priest abuse may feel guilty, angry, cut off from loved ones, isolated, addicted.  We want to assure you that you are not alone, and that there is help—for your mind, your emotions and, if you so choose, for your legal rights.

Lawsuits are not for everyone, but for some sex abuse survivors, holding the sexual abusers and institutions accountable legally is an important piece of their healing. Kelly Clark wants to help sex abuse survivors in any way possible–including discussing your legal options with you. Whether you ultimately decide to pursue justice or not, you should know what your rights are.

Kelly Clark has a long and distinguished history in advocating for childhood abuse survivors, especially in the Catholic context.

While serving in the Legislature, Kelly Clark co-authored Oregon‘s child sex abuse statute of limitations and the ban on child pornography. His 1999 win against the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America in the Oregon Supreme Court gained national attention for its landmark theory of liability for "institutions of trust" whose employees sexually abuse children.

Kelly Clark has had the honor of representing over 150 courageous men and women who were sexually abused as children by trusted adults—over 100 of these being survivors of Catholic abuse.  Often these stories of betrayal have arisen out of institutions of trust—churches, schools, youth and scouting clubs, athletic leagues and other organizations. While each case is different, of course, what they have in common is betrayal, sex abuse and deeply damaging results. Kelly views his job as helping people heal—taking back their power from the perpetrators and the organizations that sponsored them, to obtain some measure of civil justice in terms of monetary restitution and, finally, when appropriate, to achieve other, non-monetary aspects such as changes in institutional policies, apologies, or whatever else Kelly’s clients need to heal. To read more about Kelly Clark’s extensive work on behalf of child sex abuse survivors specifically in the context of Catholic priests, nuns and others,  click here.

In this work, Kelly has brought dozens of sexual abuse claims against various dioceses and orders of the Roman Catholic Church—Jesuits, Redemptorists, Paulist Fathers, Benedictines, Franciscans and others–  in states all around the country.  He has also brought cases against the Mormon Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, other Protestant and Evangelical churches, the Boy Scouts, public and private schools, gymnastic leagues, ballet school—in short, any place where children trust adults, and where too often, adults abuse that trust.

If you need help or just want someone to listen who is on your side we can help.

Fill out the form or call us at the number below. We are always willing to listen and help. If you need help don’t be afraid to ask.

Call 503-306-0224 and ask for Kelly