BATON ROUGE (LA)
WGNO [New Orleans LA]
March 15, 2022
By Kylee Bond
[Includes 15-minute video of the press conference announcing the lawsuit.]
On Tuesday, March 15, attorneys Jessica Arbour and Jacques Bezou, Jr. hosted a press conference regarding the filing of what they say is a “new child sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit.”
The suit has been filed on behalf of Larry Polizzi, a man who claims he was sexually abused as a child at Hope Haven, a church-run home for orphans and troubled youth.
Court papers report Polizzi was molested during a court-ordered stay at Hope Haven in 1976. Polizzi was 14 when the allegations happened.
This case follows a 2018 allegation filed against nearly 60 members of the clergy after what the Archdiocese of New Orleans said were ‘credible accusations of sexual abuse.” This included 8 members who worked at Hope Haven.
The 2018 case was filed by 4 men who stayed at Hope Haven as children in the 1970s.
Attorneys say Polizzi’s lawsuit is believed to be the first filed against the Salesians and School Sisters of Notre Dame under a new Louisiana act that temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for cases of childhood sexual abuse in 2021.
A three-year window was open for survivors of childhood abuse to file lawsuits against their abusers. That window remains open until 2024.
Watch the press conference announcing Polizzi’s case live at 1 p.m.