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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Posted in Sexual Abuse

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helpWell before the passage of the Child Victims Act, the child sexual abuse attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have been fighting for justice on behalf of victims of sexual abuse.  Our top results speak to our commitment to ensuring survivors of sexual abuse receive justice.

It is for these reasons that we support the recent extension of time to January 14, 2021, for survivors of child sexual abuse to file a claim for monetary damages against their abusers and the institutions that allowed the abuse to happen.

In 2019, the New York State legislature enacted the Child Victims Act (“CVA”).  Before the CVA was passed, survivors of child sexual abuse had a very limited period of time (known as a statute of limitation) in which to bring a civil lawsuit against their abusers.  The CVA did two important things: (1) extended the statute of limitations for civil claims, allowing survivors to file a claim until they are 55 years old; and (2) opened up a one year “look-back” window that allowed victims whose sexual abuse claims were previously barred by the old statute of limitations, to file suit.  This one year “look back” which was supposed to expire on August 14, 2020 has been extended by Governor Andrew Cuomo from August 14, 2020 until January 14, 2021.  Our New York sexual abuse attorneys are eager to continue to fight on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse and help them secure compensation that will ensure they are protected for life.

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As investigations continue into past clergy sexual abuses, Propublica found that many of the priests that had been accused of abusing children were sent abroad by the Catholic Church and some continue to work with children.

Many abusers were sent to Mexico

In an article released Today, Propublica reveals that investigators were able to track 51 priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children and who were then kept on the church payroll but sent abroad in various countries such as Ireland, Nigeria, the Philippines and Mexico (21 of them were sent there).  One of them was Rev.Jose Antonio Pinal. Back in the 80ies Pinal was a young Mexican priest sent to the Parish of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gridley, a small city in rural California. Pinal developed a friendship with a family of Mexican immigrants and helped them with some administrative tasks such as filling an application for food stamps. Their son Ricardo who was 15 at the time was encouraged to become an altar boy. When Ricardo went to the Parish, Pinal gave him alcohol, showed him porn movies and raped him. After the rape was discovered, lawyers assured Ricardo’s family that Pinal would never been allowed around children again.

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helpA new searchable database including US Catholic Clergy members that have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct or assault on children is now available for anyone to search. The database created by ProPublica can be accessed here.

The catholic leaders said they would be transparent about their clergy members who were credibly accused of sexual abuse but they haven’t so far. While lists of abusers have been released many of them are still incomplete.

Investigators at ProPublica spent months collecting data from the various lists of predators released by the various dioceses of the Catholic Church to create the most extensive database of clergy members that have been  deemed credibly accused of child abuse in America. The list contains the name and detailed information of 6,754 clergy members who abused children in 178 different dioceses across the US covering a population of 64.7 million Catholics.

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location-of-the-sexual-abuseA detective working for the NYPD Special Victims Division and a special education school aid were both arrested on Friday after being accused of sexually assaulted young girls in New York City.

28 year old Kevin Lemon, a special education paraprofessional is accused of sexually abusing a 9 year-old girl three times in the basement and in the staircases of PS 59 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The girl who is not a special need students was abused during the month of June. She didn’t alert her family until she returned to the same school in September. When she saw Kevin Lemon again she told her grandmother what happened in June. The grandmother who is also her legal guardian reported the man to the police. He was arrested and charged with criminal sex act, sex abuse forcible touching, sexual misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child. The 28 year old man was studying to be a teacher at Brooklyn College and still needed 6 credits until graduation.  He was making $158 a day as a special education paraprofessional.  He was immediately suspended without a pay and will remain suspended until the investigation is over. He is due back to Court on Thursday. His bail was set at $50,000. (read more in the Post)

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helpA total 427 NY sexual abuse lawsuits were filed in courts last Wednesday, on the first day of the one year window during which victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York State have the possibility to sue their abuser independently of  when the abuse occurred. 169 cases were filed in New York City and another 258 cases outside of the city. 45 judges including 12 in New York City have been specifically designated to deal with this increase in cases.

Many of these lawsuits were directed against the Catholic Church including 35 of them against the catholic diocese of Rochester in Monroe County.   A first suit was filed against the ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who was a prominent figure in the church, was  defrocked by the pope in February 2019 after an internal investigation revealed that he had sexually abused minors and adult seminarians.

Several suits were directed against the Boy Scouts of America. Claims were also filed against Rockefeller University Hospital where Dr. Reginal Archibald is accused of abusing hundreds of boys who were sent by their parents to his clinic because they were having medical issues related to growth.

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helpFollowing the signature of the NY Child Victims Act into Law by Andrew Cuomo on February 14th that gave all sexual abuse victims in New York State the possibility to sue their abuser during a one year window starting on August 14th, hundreds of victims are expected to come forward.

The New York Catholic diocese is expected to face the highest amount of civil lawsuits. Almost 500 priests who served in New York Dioceses in the past have been accused of molesting children.Other organizations dealing with children such as the Boy Scouts of America, schools and hospitals are also expected to be hit by a flood of lawsuits filed by adult survivors of sex child abuse.

After years of having their cases barred from court because the allegations were too old, NY victims of sexual abuse finally will get compensated for what they endured.  Before the NY Child Victims Act  was signed, New York State law was one of the most restrictive in the country. After the one year window period during which any victim can sue their abuser, victims of childhood sexual abuse will have have until 55 year old to sue their abuser while before the new law was signed, they only had until 23 year old to do so (see previous blog).

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Lori-KornblumProfessorDanielPollackIf you are working with children or near children on regular basis you may witness behaviors that may indicate that a child suffers abuse.

In a recent article, Lori S. Kornblum, an adjunct faculty member at Marquette University Law School focusing on child abuse and the law and Daniel Pollack a professor at the school of social work at Yeshiv University in New York write about signs that indicate that a child might be abused and how to deal with it.

If a child is engaging in abnormal sexual play such as humping another child or putting a doll  next to the genital area of another child it might be a sign that the child is being abused.  If this happens it is important not to react emotionally to the child’s behavior as he or she might just shut down and you might never be able to find out about the abuse. Try to develop a relationship with the child and gain his or her trust. When the child feels comfortable enough, try to ask questions leading to the child disclosing abuse such as “can you tell me more about the game you are playing right now?”. Don’t judge and just ask open ended questions. If the child discloses abuse, tell him or her that you need to tell some other people so they can help. Make sure the child is safe. Give a call to CPS or law enforcement depending on the cases. Sometimes a call to the police might be justified for example if the child disclosed that the boyfriend of the mother abuses him or her and that the mother is about to pick him or her up.

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Roman_Catholic_Archdiocese_of_New_York coat of armsThe archdiocese of New York released a list of 120 clergy members accused of sexually abusing minors.  In a letter accompanying the list, Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked “forgiveness again for the failings of those clergy and bishops who should have provided for the safety of our young people but instead betrayed the trust placed in them by God and by the faithful.”

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York is the second largest diocese in the United States.  According to statistics from 2014, 932 archdiocesan priests and 913 priests of religious order as well as 359 deacons, 1,493 religious brothers, and 3,153 nuns serves a community of 2,634,624 catholic people belonging to 296 parishes located in the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island as well as in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester, New York. It also operates hundreds of schools, hospital and charities.

Not the most transparent list

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helpVictims of sexual abuse in New Jersey are anxiously waiting for Governor Murphy to sign a bill that was passed by the legislature and that would extend the two-year statute of limitations in civil cases for sexual-assault victims.
The bill which was passed on March 25 by both houses of the New Jersey State legislature significantly expands the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases by giving victims until 55 year old to file a lawsuit if they were under 18 at the time of the abuse. (see the bill for details). The governor said he was supporting the bill.
The bill also offers a two-year window for any victim of sexual abuse in New Jersey who was previously blocked by the existing statute of limitations from bringing a case to bring one.
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An 11 year old girl was allegedly sexually abused by a NYC school teacher. 29 year old Daniel Santiago, an elementary school teacher was arrested on Monday and charged with sex abuse and acting in a manner to injure a child under 17. The teacher who worked at the Brooklyn Science and Engineering Academy which shares a building with PS 244 in East Flatbush had been abusing the victim since February this year.

A cousin saw the abuser’s inappropriate messages on the girl’s cell phone

The abuse started on a bus trip. While students were riding the bus, the teacher inappropriately touched the chest of the girl. Then on the same trip but while returning, the teacher sat next to the girl and slipped his hands into her pants to touch her genitalia. He then asked her to touch his genitalia which she did.  The same occurred at the school again. The teacher also sent inappropriate text messages and pictures to the 11 year old student.