The NY Child Victim Act was enacted on August 14 2019, allowing victims of child sexual abuse to bring a lawsuit against their abusers until the victim reaches the age of 55 year old. For those who are older than 55 year old and suffered sexual abuse in their childhood, the new law came with a one year look-back window during which any child sexual abuse victim in New York State, no matter their actual age and when the abuse occured, could file a lawsuit against their oppressor and/or the institution that hired them such as religious institutions, schools, boy scouts, etc.
A 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.