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Child Victims Act

CITY Newspaper file photo

Four more former Democrat & Chronicle paperboys have sued the newspaper, alleging they were sexually abused by their supervisor while on the job in the 1980s.

Their complaint, filed in state Supreme Court on Wednesday, named Jack Lazeroff, a late circulation department employee who oversaw newspaper deliverers at the time, as the abuser.

wikipedia.com

Law firms representing clients in sex abuse lawsuits against the Rochester Catholic Diocese are urging survivors to file their claim before August 13, a deadline handed down by the bankruptcy court presiding over the Diocese’s bankruptcy filing.

Matt Ryan New York Now

  

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their allies celebrated the one-year anniversary of passage of the Child Victims Act in New York, but they say they want the law updated to allow some adult victims more time to file lawsuits. 

The law, approved in late January 2019, allows survivors to file criminal charges against their alleged abusers until they reach the age of 28. They can pursue civil lawsuits until the age of 55.

The Child Victims Act expands the statute of limitations on reporting crimes of childhood sexual abuse for both criminal and civil lawsuits. It also opened a one-year window in August, for survivors to file claims, no matter how long ago they say their abuse happened. WXXI's Beth Adams looks back on the effect the law has had, as hundreds of lawsuits were filed on the first day alone.

(AP) ALBANY - Churches, youth groups, and schools were hit by a tsunami of lawsuits in 2019 after New York gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a one-year window to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation.

Now, some lawmakers want to open the same window for people abused as adults, a move that could lay a pathway for people to file additional lawsuits against some high-profile men targeted in the #MeToo movement.

Sen. Brad Hoylman introduced the Adult Survivors Act this autumn, saying survivors of adult sex abuse deserve their day in court.

Karen DeWitt/WXXI News

It was an emotional day Wednesday as hundreds of childhood sexual abuse survivors filed lawsuits in New York courts on the first day of a one-year window of opportunity for victims to seek civil action against their abusers. 

Susanne Robertson and her two sisters were orphans at St. Colman's Home in Watervliet, near Albany, where she said they were routinely abused by the nuns and other staff there. When one of the girls reported the sexual abuse to a nun at the home, she was transferred to an orphanage for mentally disabled children. 

Wednesday is the first day of a yearlong legal window to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers. Hundreds of cases are expected to be filed on the first day alone.

The survivors bringing suit Wednesday were previously shut out of the courts due to a strict statute of limitations. Under the Child Victims Act, approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature earlier this year, victims can bring criminal charges against an alleged abuser until they reach the age of 28, and can initiate a civil lawsuit until they are 55.

freeimages.com/James Chan

Kevin Higley can't remember if it was the summer of 1987 or the summer of 1988, but he does know he was 14 years old and serving as an altar boy at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Scottsville.

He said a parish priest, Father Paul Cloonan, asked him to go with him to visit a nearby monastery.

"And in the car on the way back from the monastery, he asked me if I could help him with a medical issue," Higley said.