Child Sex Abuse Victims Sue Catholic Church, Boy Scouts
A wave of legal action spurred by the passage of the Child Victims Act has emerged in New York State, where attorneys representing victims of child sex abuse on August 28 announced lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Boy Scouts of America.
Countless lawsuits targeting a broad range of alleged predators were filed the day the law went into effect on August 14. The lawsuits unveiled on August 28 by Marsh Law Firm and Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, which have expertise in representing survivors of child sex abuse, were filed exactly two weeks after the law went into effect.
The discovery requests ask defendants to turn over any relevant notes, letters, telephone records, photographs, sound recordings, emails, word files, and more, in addition to the accused abuser’s identifying information such as home address, telephone number, or place of employment.
In one complaint against the Boy Scouts of America and its local chapter, the Greater New York Councils, attorneys said the Boy Scouts have maintained internal records called “perversion files” and sought to keep them secret.
Court complaints against the Catholic Church similarly allege that the religious institution hid files and refused to address abuse even when the Archdiocese was fully aware of the wrongdoing. One lawsuit details alleged abuse from 1976 to 1979 by Father Arthur Manzione, who was employed by the Archdiocese and is charged with carrying out much of his abuse north of New York City at Sacred Heart Parish in Newburgh. The complainant accuses Manzione of abusing him in church settings from when he was 15 years old until he was 18.
“Upon information and belief, the Archdiocese and Sacred Heart, their agents, servants, and employees, concealed the sexual abuse of children by Father Manzione in order to conceal their own bad acts in failing to protect children from him, to protect their reputation, and to prevent victims of such sexual abuse by him from coming forward during the extremely limited statute of limitations prior to the enactment of the CVA, despite knowing that Father Manzione would continue to molest children,” the lawsuit states.