Father James McGreal

Perpetrator Alert: Father James McGreal, a notorious priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle who allegedly abused more than one hundred minors over a forty-year span.

PCVA is alerting the Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Port Angeles, and Monroe areas about sexual abuse reportedly perpetrated by Father James McGreal from the 1940s through the 1980s.

If you or someone you know was sexually abused by Father McGreal or has information pertaining to Father McGreal, our attorneys are here to listen and help. Learn more about how we help sexual abuse survivors or schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our lawyers by completing our online form or by calling us at (206) 536-2850.

This article provides information about the allegations against Father James McGreal and frequently asked questions about claims of sexual abuse.

What are the allegations against Father James McGreal?

Father James McGreal served as a priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle from 1948 through 1988. During his tenure, Father McGreal allegedly sexually abused hundreds of minor boys at various parishes throughout Washington. He is undoubtedly one of the most notorious pedophiles who has ever served within the Archdiocese of Seattle.

As early as the 1950s, the Archdiocese of Seattle received reports of Father McGreal’s sexual abuse of children. Instead of removing Father McGreal, the Archdiocese of Seattle transferred Father McGreal from parish to parish and secretly sent him to sexual deviancy treatment. The transfers and treatment did not put an end to the abuse—Father McGreal continued abusing children until the late 1980s.

Where did Father James McGreal serve as a priest?

Father James McGreal was assigned to following seminaries and parishes in Washington:

  • 1943-1948: St. Edward’s Seminary, Kenmore, WA
  • 1948-1950: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Tacoma, WA
  • 1950-1954: St. James Catholic Church, Vancouver, WA
  • 1954-1956: Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Seattle, WA
  • 1956-1966: St. Mary Catholic Church, Monroe, WA
  • 1966-1971: St. Michael Catholic Church, Olympia, WA
  • 1971-1977: St. Catherine Catholic Church, Seattle, WA
  • 1977-1980: St. Anthony Catholic Church, Renton, WA
  • 1980-1981: St. Joseph Hospital, Tacoma, WA
  • 1980-1981: St. John Bosco, Tacoma, WA
  • 1981-1985: Providence Hospital, Everett, WA
  • 1986-1987: Queen of Angels, Port Angeles, WA
  • 1987-1988: St. Theresa, Federal Way, WA

Has PCVA previously represented individuals who were sexually abused by Father James McGreal?

Yes. Not only has PCVA represented hundreds of individuals who were abused by priests, PCVA has also represented multiple adults who were sexually abused as children by Father James McGreal. PCVA’s familiarity with Father McGreal’s personnel file, access to past court documents and records, and knowledge of the critical witnesses provides PCVA with a unique and invaluable advantage in future litigation involving Father McGreal.

How can sexual abuse impact its victims?

Even if there is no outward injury to the body, sexual abuse of a child can have serious psychological effects.

The effects of sexual violence can include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Panic attacks
  • Substance abuse
  • Disordered sleep
  • Sexual dysfunction

These are serious issues that can harm a person’s ability to work, study, maintain relationships, and enjoy their lives. Treatment for sexual abuse-related damage can take a long time and become very expensive.

What is the current statute of limitations for child sex abuse in Washington State?

Survivors in Washington often file lawsuits decades after the abuse ended. However, there are many ways the statute of limitations can impact a case, so it is important you speak with an attorney to learn your rights. If you have any questions about the statute of limitations for your potential case, please contact us directly.

Can I come forward or sue anonymously if I’m worried about my privacy?

Most likely. The law usually allows attorneys to file lawsuits on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse using a pseudonym, like “John Doe” or “Jane Doe,” or a person’s initials. It also may be possible to resolve your case privately without filing a lawsuit or going to court.

How can survivors receive damages for sexual abuse?

Our attorneys have been involved in some of the most complicated and concerning sexual abuse cases in the country, and we are often consulted by other law firms for guidance and expertise when representing abuse survivors. We take a trauma-informed approach to our representation that acknowledges the sensitive nature of each person’s case.

Every case is different and results – which depend on the facts of the case – cannot be guaranteed. However, we will fight to hold negligent institutions and individuals accountable. Through our efforts, we have helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars in damages on behalf of abuse survivors. While no amount of monetary compensation can erase the trauma, the financial assistance can help pay for necessary expenses to allow the healing process to begin.

How much do you charge?

Our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay us on an hourly basis, and we advance the costs of litigation. If we help you resolve your case, we receive a percentage of the amount you receive, and you reimburse us for the costs we advanced on your behalf.

Our case results

PCVA has a lengthy history of pursuing damages from youth-serving organizations that employed individuals who abused their positions of authority to sexually assault children, including religious organizations, school districts, foster care agencies, boarding homes, and hospitals. See below for links to some of our case results involving such entities: