2008 Sharp Award Recipients

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2008 Sharp Award Recipients 

Attorneys and Client Fight to Protect Surviors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Attorneys: Jeff Anderson and Ray Boucher
Client: Manny Vega

As a victim of sexual abuse by a clergyman, Manny Vega was inspired to come forward by the 2002 Boston church sexual abuse scandal. He sought the legal counsel of Jeff Anderson and Ray Boucher, two extraordinary attorneys who have led the fight to protect survivors of child sexual abuse.

When Mr. Vega came forward, he was 35 years old, and the statute of limitations prevented him from seeking justice for his specific case. However, he continued to work with other altar boys who his priest had abused through the years. Mr. Vega’s courage to be candid about his story, and inspire others to come forward, helped push the California state legislature to pass a bill to create a one-year window for all sexual abuse claims against any institution that allowed it to occur.

Through Mr. Vega's courage in breaking the silence after decades of suffering, other survivors have found their voice, exposed their offenders through litigation, and transformed a corporate clerical culture that permitted the abuse to occur.

Jeff Anderson and Ray Boucher’s work in this field predates their experience with Manny Vega. Mr. Anderson is credited with being instrumental in exposing a large scale cover up of pedophile priests in the early 1980s. He pushed for severe punitive damage verdicts and worked to utilize the civil justice system as a means for exacting justice on those in the clergy who preyed on children. Jeff worked to create the National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children, an organization dedicated to prevention and the support of survivors through education, advocacy and legal reform.

Mr. Boucher is of great acclaim in this field as well. His firm, Kiesel Boucher Larson, has resolved hundreds of Clergy Molestation cases on behalf of their clients. Mr. Boucher was named Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2008 by Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, in great part for his advocacy on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse. 

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