Childhood Sexual Abuse


With New York Abuse Claim Window Closed, Victims Face Hurdles in Bankruptcy Court

Thousands of New Yorkers who said they were sexually abused as children filed lawsuits ahead of a state deadline last week. For many, their efforts to seek redress and confront abusers will now run through bankruptcy court, where the institutions they sued took refuge from litigation. Since New York’s Child Victims Act in 2019 opened the door for lawsuits over sexual abuse suffered years or decades ago, roughly 9,000 people have filed suits in the state against individuals and institutions, according to Child USA, a nonprofit childhood abuse research and advocacy ...

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Buffalo man’s testimony 18 years ago paved way for nearly 11,000 Child Victims Act lawsuits

The volume of cases in New York was 10 times the number of lawsuits filed in other states that opened similar windows suspending the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes from years ago. The state Office of Court Administration tallied a total of 10,857 lawsuits between Aug. 14, 2019 and the expiration of the Child Victims Act window on Saturday. State courts in Western New York accounted for 1,474 of the filings, including 1,219 in Erie County – third most in the state. New York County had the most lawsuits with 2,606, followed by Kings ...

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Nearly 1,100 Long Island lawsuits filed under NY Child Victims Act

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Nearly 1,100 civil suits alleging sexual abuse have been filed in Long Island courts under a law that allowed victims to sue for crimes committed decades earlier, according to state records. The two-year lookback window to file a claim under New York State’s Child Victims Act ended Friday with 10,857 cases filed statewide, according to records, which were released Tuesday. "In a way it's a wonderful number because it means so many people came forward," said Jennifer Freeman, senior counsel at the Manhattan-based Marsh Law Firm, which filed nearly 500 cases under ...

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How the Child Victims Act revealed New York’s dark history of child sexual abuse

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The Child Victims’ Act, which went into effect August 2019, opened up a year-long window for adult survivors of child sexual abuse to file claims against their perpetrators, regardless of when the crimes occurred. The law also changed the statute of limitations for civil sexual abuse claims, allowing any survivor to file suit until the age of 55 when the previous cut-off age was 23. In a glimpse, the Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala law firm said about 10 percent of the 479 cases they’ve brought under the law have been settled. They noted, however, that many of the ...

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Child abuse survivors wait for justice, healing as CVA deadline passes with nearly 10K lawsuits filed

When legislators in New York passed the Child Victims Act in 2019, it was prompted by an understanding that survivors of sexual abuse were struggling to heal and needed help. Outdated laws kept them from finding justice through the courts, and the institutions which had fostered the abuse were slow to respond on their own. What the legislators did not understand, perhaps, was how pervasive the sexual abuse of children had been across the state and the sheer number of individuals who had been victimized. More than 9,200 complaints have been filed as part of ...

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NY let childhood sex abuse victims sue; 9,000 went to court

For two years, New York temporarily set aside its usual time limit on civil lawsuits in order to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue churches, hospitals, schools, camps, scout groups and other institutions and people they hold responsible for enabling pedophiles or turning a blind eye to wrongdoing. That window closes Saturday, after more than 9,000 lawsuits were filed, a deluge whose impact may be felt for many years. The tsunami of litigation surprised even some of the lawyers who work regularly with alleged abuse victims. “We thought ...

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‘Flood’ of new suits as Child Victims Act look-back window set to close

In the two years leading up to Aug. 4, survivors of child sexual abuse filed more than 8,263 civil suits in New York against their alleged abusers and the institutions that employed them.  Seven days later, that total jumped by nearly 1,000 to 9,241, according to data from the state’s Office of Court Administration.  The dramatic rise in cases is coming ahead of the end of a so-called “look-back,” or revival window for claims of child sexual abuse written into law with the Child Victims Act of 2019. The law changed the statute of limitations for such ...

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Sex abuse victims’ lawsuits continue to pour in as NY’s Child Victims Act nears its deadline to file

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The window to file lawsuits under New York State’s Child Victims Act will come to a close later this month, but until a few weeks ago, David Ferrick didn’t know that the law enabling victims of sexual assault to sue even existed. Ferrick, 52, learned about it last month in Fresno, California — thousands of miles away from his childhood home in Brooklyn, where he attended St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Greenpoint and where he says in a newly filed lawsuit that a priest there molested him when he was just a 10-year-old altar boy. The aim of the law, ...

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Bishop acknowledges child predators were sent for ‘treatment’

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany engaged in a decades-long cover-up of chronic child sexual abuse committed by its priests by employing practices described in a recent statement from former Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, who ran the diocese from 1977 to 2014. Hubbard’s statement, issued through his attorney in response to a series of questions from the Times Union, confirmed that the diocese shielded priests and others facing sexual abuse allegations — sending them into private treatment programs rather than contacting law enforcement officials or alerting ...

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He alleges sex abuse by prominent Staten Island priest ‘robbed’ him of childhood, explains why he went public with lawsuit

A former Staten Islander alleges that he was sexually abused for several years beginning when he was a teen in the 1990s by a Roman Catholic priest who served for decades on Staten Island. Ryan Barry, now a husband and father who lives in Pennsylvania, said in a lawsuit and a recent interview with the Advance/SILive.com that he was preyed upon by the Rev. James Garisto, a former pastor, teacher and school administrator in our borough. “He robbed me of pretty much my whole childhood and my teenage years,” Barry said of Father Garisto. Barry sued the Archdioc...

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