Number of people suing Children’s Village for alleged sex assault doubles to 22
February 22, 2021
News 12 has learned that the number of people suing The Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry for sexual assault allegations has now doubled.
Eleven more men have come forward with allegations against The Children's Village, bringing the total to 22.
The survivors claim they were sexually abused by staff and older residents when they were boys as young as 6. Their allegations date back to the 70s.
The attorney representing the men discussed with News 12 why they are coming forward now, decades after their alleged abuse.
"Their sexual identity to a certain extent was thrown into question when they were kids. Some of them had been fed alcohol and drugs," says Robert Greenstein, the plaintiffs' attorney.
The Children's Village was supposed to be a safe haven for kids - many of them homeless, runaways or juvenile delinquents.
That's why those who are part of this lawsuit say they never want what happened to them to happen to another child there ever again.
"These kids were already in a bad situation, and then they were placed in a situation that was even worse," says Greenstein.
Their case is only possible because of New York's Child Victims Act, giving survivors a two-year window to come forward with any assault allegations - no matter how long ago they happened.
But that window ends August of this year, so Greenstein is encouraging anyone else to speak up while they legally can.
"A lot of times these things are repressed by the survivors, but when they hear about other survivors, it makes it a little less challenging for them to come forward," he says.
Asked for comment, The Children's Village told News 12 in part, "The safety of children in our care is our top priority. We are heartbroken by these allegations."
This civil case aims to bring the 22 men some financial compensation with the hope of paying for trauma treatment.