|Three Sexual Assault Cases Filed against Archdiocese of Miami
By Perry Stein
August 17, 2011
The Archdiocese of Miami was hit with three lawsuits on Wednesday alleging that a priest sexually abused three children in the 1960s.
The lawsuits accuse Father Neil Flemming of sexually abusing three boys between the ages of 12-14 at Boystown, a former residential home in Southwest Miami-Dade for troubled boys.
The archdiocese released a statement Wednesday saying the church is aware of the lawsuit against the retired priest.
“As always, the Catholic Church’s concerns are for the victims and a prevailing sense of justice,” the statement read. “In addition, over the past nine years, the archdiocese has been forthcoming and taken steps to keep children safe through training and background screenings of all its employees.
Each plaintiff is seeking more than $5 million in damages.
“These victims are coming forward now because they want to encourage other victims to come forward and not suffer in silence,” said Jeff Herman, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs. “They are now just feeling strong enough to come forward and get help.”
Herman said he has represented four other cases of victims who allege that Flemming, now in his 80s and living in northern Florida, assaulted them. All of those cases have been settled outside of court. Efforts to reach Flemming were unsuccessful.
Flemming was named the director of Boystown in 1965, after the victims allege they were first assaulted.
“We are alleging that they served up victims to him,” Herman said.
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