Father Michael Cody

Perpetrator Alert: Father Michael Cody, a pedophile priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle who sexually abused children throughout Western Washington.

PCVA is alerting King, Whatcom, Pierce, and Skagit Counties about sexual abuse perpetrated by Father Michael Cody from the 1950s through the 1970s.

If you or someone you know was sexually abused by Father Cody, or has information pertaining to Father Cody, 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 Michael Cody and frequently asked questions about civil claims for sexual abuse.

What are the allegations against Father Michael Cody?

Father Michael Cody served as a priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle from the 1950s through the 1970s. During his tenure, Father Cody allegedly sexually abused scores of minors at parishes throughout Washington.

From early on, the Archdiocese of Seattle knew that Father Cody posed a danger to children. In 1962, after Father Cody sexually abused children in multiple parishes in King County, the Archdiocese of Seattle was informed that Father Cody was a pedophile and that he needed to be removed from parish work “as soon as possible.”

Despite the reports of abuse, the Archdiocese of Seattle failed to remove Father Cody from its ministry. Instead, it sent Father Cody to sexual deviancy treatment, only to later discontinue the treatment due to the cost. As soon as Father Cody was released, the Archdiocese of Seattle resumed assigning him to parish work.

Predictably, for the sixteen years following his release from sexual deviancy treatment, Father Cody would use the authority and access of his position as a priest to sexually abuse children—abuse that was entirely preventable.

Where did Father Michael Cody serve as a priest?

Father Michael Cody was assigned to following seminaries and parishes in Washington:

  • 1953-1958: St. Edward’s Seminary, Kenmore, WA
  • 1958-1961: St. Luke, Shoreline, WA
  • 1961-1962: Holy Family, Seattle, WA
  • 1963-1967: St. James Cathedral, Seattle, WA
  • 1967-1968: Holy Family, Auburn, WA
  • 1968-1970: Sacred Heart, La Conner, WA
  • 1970-1972: St. Charles, Burlington, WA
  • 1972-1975: Assumption, Bellingham, WA
  • 1975-1979: St. Margaret, Seattle, WA

Has PCVA previously represented individuals who were sexually abused by Father Michael Cody?

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 Michael Cody. PCVA’s familiarity with Father Cody’s personnel file, access to past court documents and records, and knowledge of critical witnesses provides PCVA with a significant amount of institutional knowledge when it comes to helping people who were sexually abused by Father Cody.

You can read more about PCVA’s past work involving Father Cody here: PCVA Reaches a $9.15M Settlement in Cases Involving Father Michael Cody.

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 are many, but 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 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 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 law and 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 gross 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: