More former paperboys say a Democrat and Chronicle supervisor sexually abused them

WXXI

More former paperboys are coming forward, saying they were molested by their supervisor when they worked for the Democrat and Chronicle in the 1980s.

Five men contacted WXXI in the days after our story first aired on Oct. 15.  Three of them are either joining Bates' lawsuit or filing separate legal claims against the newspaper.

They said they believe Bates' allegations of sexual abuse, because they experienced something similar when they delivered newspapers for the Democrat and Chronicle in the early 1980s.

Bates' lawsuit, which was filed on Oct. 15, claims the Democrat and Chronicle knew or should have known that Lazeroff was grooming and sexually abusing paperboys, but concealed this to protect its reputation. 

Lawyers for the D&C and its parent company, Gannett, denied the allegations in court papers, and a spokesperson for the companies did not reply to an email asking for a response to this story.

But two of the alleged victims told WXXI News that they complained to the D&C about Lazeroff.

Before he worked for the Democrat and Chronicle, Lazeroff was an assistant vice president at the former First Federal Savings and Loan at 320 E. Main St. in Rochester. 

He was fired in the early 1970s, according to Ellen deBuono, who was the bank's human resources manager at the time. She said Lazeroff was fired because young men who worked at the bank complained that he had fondled them at work.

Another woman who worked at First Federal said she witnessed numerous times Lazeroff sexually abusing high school-aged young men who had applied to the bank for student loans.

Media reports about the initial lawsuit filed against the Democrat and Chronicle by Rick Bates led her to call Bates’ attorney, James Marsh, she said.

“I just feel if something had been done 50 years ago, all of these boys after that could have been saved and their lives wouldn’t have been ruined," Howe said."That’s what bothers me the most.”

Marsh, who now represents three other paperboys who intend to take legal action, said Lazeroff's alleged actions at the bank are "very significant," and demonstrate that he had a reputation for engaging in this type of behavior a decade before he supervised paperboys. 

Marsh questions whether the Democrat and Chronicle knew about this before hiring Lazeroff and if the company inquired about his reasons for leaving the bank.

Find more information online here.

Filed Under  Cases  Child Victims Act (CVA)  Childhood Sexual Abuse  Radio 

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