Man Files $20M Lawsuit Against Catholic Church
A former New York City resident used the newly adopted Child’s Victim Act to re-file a $20 million lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Because the law greatly expanded the statute of limitations time period, the 55-year-old man was able to finally take action against those responsible for the abuse he suffered as a child.
The sexual abuse survivor, who now lives in Florida, had initially filed a claim against his abuser in 2011 but had his case dismissed because of statute of limitations concerns.
The first case against his abuser was filed after the offender had plead guilty to two counts of child rape and one count of distributing pornographic materials to an underage victim. The perpetrator of the crimes was a basketball coach at St. Theresa School in Queens who would eventually move to Christ the King.
As a young child, the sexual abuse survivor developed an inappropriate relationship with the coach, who utilized his influence and position of power to take advantage of the young boy. The lawsuit states that the victim had been molested well over 100 times over a 4 year period.
The victim is also filing charges for battery, assault, negligence, and emotional anguish from the abusive church figure that caused him much pain and suffering throughout his adolescence and into his adulthood.
The Unfortunate Truth About Child Sexual Abuse and the Clergy
In 2018, all eight of the New York Catholic Diocese were issued subpoenas under sexual allegations after Attorney General, Barbara Underwood, created a hotline to allow victims of child sexual abuse to come forward.
This motion was the result of a grand jury investigation which revealed over 1,000 cases of child sex abuse by 300 Pennsylvania clergy members since the 1940s.
In recent years, sexual abuse by church figures has come under heavy scrutiny all across the nation. The New York Child’s Victim Act has allowed survivors to finally emerge with their stories now that they have been given additional time and a platform to speak their truth.
Child sexual abuse most often occurs by a perpetrator known to the victim, and silence over the matter occurs in part because of fear, authority, or positions of power.
Statistics on Child Abuse in the United States
Child sexual abuse includes unwanted physical contact, exposure to voyeurism and pornography, sexual exploitation, violence, and other non-contact sexual acts. Sadly, the prevalence of child sex abuse is difficult to determine as a large percentage of cases go unreported.
However, there is enough evidence and information to highlight the rampant child sexual abuse that occurs in this country, including the following statistics:
- 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. However, the 90,000 cases reported annually fall short of the true number of occurrences.
- Over 90 percent of child sex abuse victims know the perpetrator. The most prevalent offenders including family friends or acquaintances, parents, and relatives.
- 20 percent of all sexually abused children are abused before age 8.
- Meta-analysis reveals that 14 percent of perpetrators will commit another act of sexual abuse within 5 years and 24 percent within 15 years.
To learn more about the Child’s Victim Act and your legal rights as a survivor of sexual abuse, consult the lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057.
New Statute of Limitations for Victims of Sexual Abuse in New York
If you or a loved one have previously filed a civil lawsuit over sexual abuse you experienced during adolescence, only to have it dismissed because of the statute of limitations, the Child’s Victim Act now allows for:
- Survivors who suffered sexual abuse as children are able to file civil lawsuits against abusers and institutions until they are 55 years old.
- There is a one-year “lookback window” open right now during which sexual abuse survivors of any age or time limit can come forward to seek out legal prosecution against the perpetrator.
- Victims whose cases were previously dismissed for statute of limitations reasons can bring a new lawsuit.
- Victims whose cases were previously dismissed for failing to file a notice of claim or notice of intention to file a claim against a municipality can bring a new lawsuit.
- Individuals who were abused at public institutions will now be able to file lawsuits against the organization without having to submit a notice of claim or notice of intention to file a claim.
- Survivors who suffered sexual abuse as children will be able to file felony criminal charges against the offender until they turn 28.
Our sympathetic team of attorneys here at Hach & Rose, LLP is fully aware of the barricades to reporting sexual abuse. Our experienced New York Child Victims Act attorneys can provide legal protection and diligent investigation to bring justice to your situation.
We are prepared to fight for survivors of sexual abuse in the New York area. Contact us at (212) 779-0057 or online to speak with an attorney today.