Attorney Blog: Three More Catholic Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse Under NY Child Victims Act

Legal Examiner – Saunders & Walker

July 6, 2020

By Joseph H. Saunders

Three former priests with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse have been accused of sexually abusing a young boy in a graphically detailed lawsuit, according to Press Connects. The alleged abuse began when the victim, now 61, was in fifth grade and continued through his high school years.

The lawsuit was filed under New York’s Child Victims Act, which allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file claims against their abusers and any institutions that knowingly obscured or failed to prevent the abuse, regardless of how much time has passed. The Syracuse Diocese, which is now facing over 100 sexual abuse lawsuits, filed for bankruptcy on June 19.

The diocese had previously identified the three priests — Robert Kloster, David Pichette and Thomas Zedar — as having been “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse. All three were permanently removed from ministry, but not in time to stop them from abusing this plaintiff.

In the lawsuit, Kloster, Pichette and Zedar are accused of methodically grooming the young boy for the purpose of sexually abusing him. It argues the boy “felt trapped over the years by feelings of helplessness and shame,” and that each former priest committed abusive acts that “ultimately ruined his life.”

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