For those claiming clergy abuse, a window long shut is about to open


Nov. 29, 2019

By Brenda Flanagan

Sunday has been a long time coming for Bruce Novozinsky.

Decades ago, the 58-year-old Monmouth County resident claims, a Catholic priest tried to rape him in a hotel room while he was on a church trip with other altar boys. But he’s been barred from seeking justice in court by the New Jersey’s statute of limitations.

Now, armed with a new law that as of Dec. 1 opens a two-year window for those like Novozinsky who were thwarted in pursuing claims of past abuse by a trusted adult, his attorney says he will file lawsuits in the name of some 40 clients.

“For me, personally? It’s absolutely a day of vindication and validation,” Novozinsky said.

In his lawsuit, Novozinsky accuses the Diocese of Trenton and St. Mary of the Lake Church in Lakewood of covering up alleged abuse by the late Father Gerry Brown. His recollection of the incident is all-too-vivid.

“Within seconds, I turned and I elbowed him in the face,” he recalled. “He was bleeding from his nose, from the elbow. His underwear was down, just above his knees. He went into the bathroom — door wide open — and continued to masturbate.”

Novozinsky was 15. He claims church officials at the time called him a liar and covered up multiple cases involving Brown, whose name eventually appeared on a list of 188 priests credi

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