Lawyer for abuse victims demands New York Archdiocese release ‘predator priest’ data

By Allie Griffin And Natalie O'neill
New York Post
July 15, 2019

St. Patrick's Cathedral

A lawyer representing childhood victims of alleged sex abuse on Monday demanded the Archdioceses of New York release “secret files” on “predator priests” — before a one-year statute of limitations rule expires.

“We’re launching a petition today to demand that the Church of New York, all the Catholic Dioceses, release their secret files that contain important information on predator priests,” said Jeff Herman, an attorney representing the victims in a class action lawsuit against the archdiocese.

In the yet-to-be released documents, more than 500 priests have been identified as child abusers, Herman said.

“That’s the tip of the iceberg,” he proclaimed. “There’s probably over a thousand priests there may be files on.”

It’s important that the archdioceses move swiftly in releasing the files due to the New York Child Victims Act, which recently created a one-year window allowing victims of sex abuse to file civil suits without dealing with state statute of limitations rules.

“It’s important so that they can evaluate and learn whether or not they can file claims and finally seek justice under this new law,” he said.

In April, the Archdiocese of New York released a list of 120 clergy who it said have been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing a minor.

But the new files don’t include those clergy members, Herman said.

Along with Herman, one alleged victim and other advocates gathered at the Archdiocese of New York on First Avenue and 56th Street to launch the petition Monday.

“I’m a survivor,” said one 65-year-old victim, Brian Toale. “It took a long time to get past the denial stage, 20 years before I dealt with it and then another 25 years of recovery before I could disclose [it].”

The petition notes, “These files contain important information for victims of clergy sexual abuse which will help victims determine whether they can file a claim under the New York Child Victims Act.


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