Yesterday was a historical day for victims of sexual abuse in New York as Governor Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into Law. This new law extends what was one of the most restrictive statutes of limitations in the country. Victims of childhood sexual abuse now 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. Additionally a one-year “look back” period that will start in 6 months will allow all sexual abuse victims to sue their abuser even for cases that date from decades ago.
THE NY CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS AT LEAST 480 PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ABUSE BUT VICTIM ADVOCATES BELIEVE THERE ARE FAR MORE
A lot of victims are expected to come forward now that the new law has passed. Any New York school or youth organization that hired a child molester in the past could now be the target of a lawsuit. The New York catholic dioceses may face the most lawsuits. Among the 8 New York dioceses, 6 of them have publicly listed a total of 249 priests who have been accused of molesting a child. The only two dioceses who haven’t publicly identified sexually abusive priests are the Archdiocese of New York City and the Rockville Centre Diocese. In 2004 the Archdiocese of New York City announced that it was aware that 45 of its priests had sexually abused children but no names were revealed. The Rockville Centre Diocese also acknowledged that 66 of its priests were accused of sexually assaulted children but again no names were mentioned. Among the dioceses that published the names of their abusers, Buffalo had the largest list with 80 priests recognized as sexual abusers followed by 57 for Syracuse, 46 for Albany, 30 for Ogdensburg, 23 for Rochester and 13 for Brooklyn.
Many Jesuits priests accused of sexual abuse worked in NYC high schools according to a list released earlier this month by the Jesuits. Xavier, Regis, Brooklyn Prep and Fordham Prep which are among New York’s best catholic schools, all appeared to have hired priests who were identified by the Society of Jesus as having a history of sexual abuse found to be “more likely true than not after investigation.”
Alleged sexual predator was still teaching at Masters School
The allegations are from decades ago and 35 priests mentioned on the list have now passed away. Others have been removed from ministry or restricted from serving in public roles. Most of them have not been teaching for years. However one of them was still teaching at Masters Schools, a prestigious private school with no religious affiliation located in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester, just North of New York City. Up until a few days ago Robert Cornigans lived on campus and was an English teacher there. Cornigans who left the Jesuits in 1981 was hired by the school in 2004 despite allegations that came out in 2003 that he had abused a child in 1976. After the list was published he was immediately forced to resign and to leave his campus residence. The school sent a letter to the parents and the community to apologize and informed them that they would hire an outside firm to investigate the case.