Bronx Man, 50, Remembers High School Principal Sexually Abusing Him, Says N.Y. Statute of Limitations Is "Very Unfair"
By Edgar Sandoval, Larry Mcshane
New York Daily News
April 12, 2016
|“It’s very unfair,” said Mark Taylor, 50. “It’s very important that they change the law. I still have anxiety attacks and PTSD. And I can’t get nothing — disability, Social Security, not even a sleeping pill.”|
The nightmares still surface in the darkness, leaving Mark Taylor awake and alone with his horrific memories of high school.
The Bronx man remembers his predatory principal sexually abusing him for three soul-crushing years, starting when he was a 14-year-old sophomore.
And though Irwin Goldberg confessed on videotape to sodomizing Taylor, New York State’s statute of limitations allowed the principal to dodge criminal charges and a $10 million lawsuit. Victims abused as children have until their 23rd birthday to seek criminal or civil penalties.
“It’s very unfair,” said Taylor, 50. “It’s very important that they change the law. I still have anxiety attacks and PTSD. And I can’t get nothing — disability, Social Security, not even a sleeping pill.”
State Senate Democrats plan to introduce a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitation for criminal or civil cases. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), would also remove the 90-day window required to file a notice of claim — the first step in a lawsuit — against a public or government entity. The Catholic Church has long argued that the 90-day requirement for public entities was unfair to private institutions.
Previous incarnations of the legislation were killed by Senate Republicans as far back as 2006.
Taylor said he repressed the memories of repeated sexual assaults inside the principal’s office at Adlai Stevenson High School in the Bronx and vacant school classrooms, and at the apartment where Goldberg’s mother lived.
“I can’t remember nothing about high school at all, except when he attacked me over and over,” he says of his teen years.
Taylor recalls Goldberg pulling him out of class, sexually abusing him in the office, then sending the teen back into the classroom. He reflects on the weeks before school started, when his stomach would be in knots at the thought of walking back into the Stevenson High hallways.
And he remembers confiding his sickening secret to a teacher in the school, only to find the educator had no interest in telling anyone about the principal’s repeated abuse of the helpless student.
“Later on, two decades later, he admitted that I told him,” Taylor said of the teacher. “But he was afraid of losing his job.”
Not even Goldberg’s confession in 2000 to the sex crimes was enough for Taylor to overcome the statute of limitations. Taylor, wearing a hidden video camera, approached Goldberg inside Stevenson. A special schools investigator said the principal admitted sodomizing Taylor before exposing himself and begging his former student for oral sex, according to a suit filed by Taylor.
Goldberg was never prosecuted and he never lost his city job. The pervy principal retired in 2001, shortly after the videotaped admission of guilt.
Lawyer Kevin Mulhearn, known for his legal work with sex abuse victims, said the system failed Taylor. “This guy should have had justice,” said Mulhearn, who has worked with Taylor. “His life got ruined.”