Joel Onsurez

A Call for Witnesses: Joel Onsurez, allegedly sexually abused children while he was a Ministerial Servant of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Yakima, Washington.

This article provides information about the allegations against Joel Onsurez and frequently asked questions about claims of sexual abuse.

What are the allegations against Joel Onsurez?

Joel Onsurez allegedly sexually abused several children while he was a Ministerial Servant at the Jehovah’s Witnesses Nob Hill Congregation in Yakima, Washington. Onsurez reportedly abused children from the ages of 12 to 15 years old by showing them pornography and forcing them to masturbate and orally copulate him. Onsurez was convicted of rape of a child in 1996 a few years before moving to North Dakota.

Onsurez used his connection to the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization to take advantage of vulnerable children along with the negligence of officials in power at the South Unit of Yakima, Washington Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.

It is suspected that there are more victims of Joel Onsurez. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual abuse at the hands of Joel Onsurez, our attorneys are here to listen and help. Learn more about how we help sexual abuse survivors or schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our lawyers by completing our online form or by calling us at (206) 462-4334.

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.

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:

$25M Jury Verdict for Foster Care Child Sexual Abuse Against the State of New Jersey

$9.35M Settlement for Foster Care Child Sex Abuse Case Against the State of Washington

$7.5M Jury Verdict for Child Sex Abuse Case Against YMCA

$4.25M Settlement in Sexual Assault Case Against Issaquah School District

$4.2M Settlement Reached in Coach Sexual Abuse Case Against University Place School District

$3.9M Settlement in Sexual Abuse Against Tahoma School District

$3M Settlement in Coach Sexual Abuse Case Against Seattle Public Schools

See a more detailed list on our Case Results page.