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Brooklyn Diocese Hit With Dozens of Sex Abuse Lawsuits Since Wednesday, 6 Cases in Queens

St. Patrick Church, Long Island City at 39-38 29th St

Aug. 15, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Dozens of child sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against the Brooklyn Diocese since Wednesday–as the one-year “lookback” provision of the Child Victims Act kicked in across the state.

The “lookback” window went into effect Aug. 14 and allows previously time-barred survivors of child sexual abuse to file suit regardless of when the abuse took place. Therefore, victims who were unable to file suit due to the statute of limitations are now able to seek redress.

Across the state, hundreds of cases have been filed against major institutions since the look-back period began, including against the Boy Scouts of America, Rockefeller University and Catholic groups and dioceses.

The Brooklyn Diocese, which incorporates Brooklyn and Queens, has been named in about 40 lawsuits since Wednesday, with six against churches in Queens.

The six churches in Queens include Our Lady of the Angelus Church in Rego Park; St. Patrick Church in Long Island City; and St. Margaret’s School and Catholic Church in Middle Village.

Jennifer Freeman, an attorney with the Marsh Law Firm in New York, said that the lookback period allows sexual abuse victims to finally hold their abusers accountable no matter how long ago the misdeeds took place.

The Child Victims Act was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Feb. 14, with the one-year lookback period kicking in Aug 14. The bill was initially introduced by former Assemblywoman Margaret Markey more than a decade ago but was never able to pass the senate until the Democrats took control of the chamber this year.

“For years this law has been hard fought so that survivors in New York City could hold their abusers accountable and seek justice. That moment is now here,” Freeman said. “Sexual predators and large institutions have attempted to hide heinous abuse for too long, and today, we can begin to heal the pain and suffering our clients in New York City have experienced over decades.”

Samantha Breakstone, an attorney representing Weitz and Luxenberg, said that the provision gives many people an opportunity to have a voice and seek justice.

Breakstone said that Weitz and Luxenberg had filed nine lawsuits across the state since the lookback period opened, including one in Queens against St. Margaret’s School and Catholic Church in Middle Village. However, she said that she expects that number to rise quickly as more people come forward.

The Brooklyn Diocese issued a statement on Wednesday offering solidarity with the victims.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio apologized and said that the Brooklyn Diocese has implemented aggressive policies to ensure that sexual abuse never happens again.

The diocese has paid more than $90 million in settlements and worked with nearly 500 victims. Earlier this year it released the names of every clergy member who was credibly accused of sexual abuse throughout the history of the diocese.

“Today, we stand with victims who were sexually abused as children,” DiMarzio said in a statement. “We have reached this point because too many victims all across society have sadly carried this heavy cross for far too long. Sexual abuse is a heinous crime, and victim-survivors now have a new avenue to seek redress through the Child Victims Act.

“For anyone abused by a priest, employee or volunteer — I am sorry that a member of our church who you trusted became the source of pain and anguish. You should know the Diocese of Brooklyn has instituted the most aggressive policies to prevent any future abuse and to protect children.”

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12 Comments

Really? The error in whose ways???

The most racist people I have ever met are Democrats. All of them.

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Gardens Watcher

Marge Markey formerly represented Assembly District 30, which included parts of Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth, LIC and Middle Village.

Thanks to Markey for her tireless efforts on this bill for so many years!

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Good one

Do you have an actual criticism or is calling Democrats Democrats about all you can muster?

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VelvetKnight

And some people are raised Republican, but are smart enough to see the error of their ways. Not sure what that has to do with this topic though.

The only mention of Democrats in this article is about the passage of the Child Victims Act, which Republicans refused to do. What do you have against the Democrats wanting people being able to seek justice from their abusers?

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Holy moley baloney

I am truly disgusted with the Catholic Church. I feel so betrayed by these pigs known as priest . And the nuns were no better. I attended MPB in Astoria & surprised its not on list as so many priest were abusing kids . Not sure if I can continue to have faith & believe the church and attend mass and live by 10 commandments. We should have 11 . Thou shall not sexually abuse children
Amen .

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Bettye B Speed

At this polarizing time in our history, Christianity is constantly attacked-especially Catholicism. Then to find that pedophilic Catholic priests are still abusing our children, makes one seriously consider abandoning “The Church” altogether, though not abandoning one’s belief system. It’s a serious dilemna!

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VelvetKnight

The greatest irony in this situation is it’s really things like covering up child abuse, hypocritical evangelical preachers really just seeking money and power, and nonsense like the Prosperity Gospel are doing more to turn this country atheist than a thousand Richard Dawkinses could ever do.

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Anon

Don’t allow these lowlifes to deprive you of your faith, it was never vested in men anyway. The RC Church is not made up of priests and nuns but by the membership that worships together, gathers together and cares for one another. The RC Church is not made up of clergy, but by its believers. But what do I know, I gave up on the invisible man in sky, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny a long time ago.

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JG

Why are people still supporting these child raping, women hating, homophobic religious institutions?

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Anonymous

I guess It’s the same reason why people support political institutions who do the same disgusting things.

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