About 600 complaints of sexual abuse of minors have been filed against the Diocese of Brooklyn since a law was passed in 2019 in the state of New York (USA) that temporarily allows victims complain even though the alleged crimes have prescribed, reveals a report from a law firm.
The 571 complaints filed against the Diocese of Brooklyn, which encompasses the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, include 532 lawsuits against institutions under the control of the religious district and 301 from alleged assailants, of whom 230 are members of the clergy, According to a document presented Tuesday by the law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, which represents 127 of the complainants.
“To every survivor who has stepped up and to every survivor who does: it is an act of courage and we are grateful to you “, lawyer Jeff Andrews said at a virtual press conference, local media reported.
“Know that you have made a difference in the protection of children in the future and in helping other survivors step up and share their secret, seek help and hope for healing, “he added.
“The most prolific pedophile priest on the East Coast”
The largest number of complaints against an individual were filed against the excommunicated priest Romano Ferraro, that he has accumulated 18 lawsuits covering events that occurred between 1958 and 1991, and that he was described by The New York Times as the “most prolific pedophile priest on the east coast of the United States.”
Meanwhile, the institution that faces the most demands is the St Francis Preparatory College, in Fresh Meadows, in the borough of Queens, against which 21 complaints have been filed against 9 people for abuses that took place between 1959 and 2001.
The Child Victims Act went into effect in New York State in August 2019 and allows people who suffered child abuse a one-year window to file complaints against the perpetrators, even though they have prescribed the crimes.
For the coronavirus pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, extended that period one more year, until August 14, 2021.
“Just a small part”
Almost one fifth of the more than 2,800 complaints of sexual assaults filed in New York state through Dec. 31, 2020, are related to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the law firm noted.
According to Andrews, the lawsuits filed so far are believed to be only “a small part” of the abuses that were committed.
“There is no doubt that, based on the data we have collected from survivors who have spoken so far, this is only a fraction of those who will step forward “, assured. EFE