SAR still in middle of fight to expand the CVA

Riverdale Press

July 12, 2020

By Kirstyn Brendlen

Late last summer, thousands of people across New York state were granted something they thought would never be offered: A chance for justice.

The Child Victims Act aimed at expanding the number of child sexual assault victims who could seek legal redress against their abusers, whether the source of that abuse came from people or institutions. It did so by not only moving the age cap on victims from 24 to 55, but it also provided a one-year “lookback” period, where victims of any age could file suit against institutions or individuals who they say committed or facilitated sexual abuse against them, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.

The lookback window opened Aug. 14, and was originally set to expire next month. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended that window in May.

“Because of the reduction in court services, we want to extend that window, and we will extend it an additional five months, until Jan. 14,” Cuomo said at the time. “Because people need access to the courts to make their claim, because justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

For some — especially here, closer to home — that justice already had been long deferred.

In late 2017, former students emailed allegations about Stanley Rosenfeld, a former teacher and assistant principal at Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy, to Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, according to a report published by the school. Those allegations prompted the school to hire an outside investigative company to interview nearly 40 witnesses and alleged victims.

Those investigators concluded Rosenfeld may have sexually abused as many as 12 students during the time he worked at the school between 1974 and 1977, and again for a short time a decade later.

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