Diocese of Rochester to face at least 75 new lawsuits over child abuse


July 24, 2019

By Matt Butler

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester will face a potentially massive flood of lawsuits next month when New York’s child sexual abuse reporting reforms go into effect, as the local fallout continues from decades of abuse and cover-ups by priests and others in the Catholic community nationwide.

According to Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, dozens of victims claiming abuse by clergy members in the Diocese of Rochester have come to him over the last several months to inquire about filing lawsuits. In mid-August, when a state-created window for childhood sexual abuse opens for one year, Garabedian said he will bring lawsuits on behalf of 75 victims against the diocese, with more likely in the following months once more people become aware of the new statute. Garabedian said he expects a second wave of lawsuits to come, and maybe more after that. He has been handling sexual abuse cases for decades, rising to prominence when the Catholic priest abuse scandal was revealed in Boston, in which he was deeply involved in representing victims and their families against the Catholic Church. (Garabedian was portrayed by Stanley Tucci in the 2015 movie “Spotlight” about the uncovering of the scandal.)

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