About the Rockville Centre Sexual Abuse Cases in Long Island, NY
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is feeling the impact of heightened efforts to bring justice to people who suffered sexual abuse as children at the hands of church clergy or staff.
When Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act in February 2019, he opened the doors for New York child sex abuse victims—including people who suffered sexual abuse as children within the Diocese of Rockville Centre—to hold their abusers accountable, regardless of how much time has passed since the abuse occurred.
The law benefits all child sex abuse victims but clearly aims to rectify decades of sex abuse allegations within the Catholic church, which includes such tragic activity within the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Read on to learn more about the Rockville Centre sexual abuse lawsuit case in Long Island, NY.
What the Child Victims Act Does for Sex Abuse Victims
The Child Victims Act:
- Changes the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits in cases of child sexual abuse, giving victims until the age of 55 to seek compensation for the physical, emotional, and economic damages they have suffered over the years as a result of the crimes committed against them as children.
- Opens a one-year window during which time complainants whose claims were barred due to the previous statute of limitations can revive their lawsuits against the church. The window is open from August 14, 2019 to August 14, 2020. This also means that if you are over the age of 55, for one year, you can still file a claim against the church, despite the statute of limitations, regardless of how long ago you suffered the sexual abuse.
Status of Claims Against the New York Diocese
According to The Wall Street Journal, from the time the Archdiocese of New York opened an Independent Reconciliation Compensation Program (IRCP) victim compensation fund in 2016 through July 2019:
- They have received claims from more than 400 people.
- Settlement amounts have reached as high as $500,000.
- 84% of victims in the decided cases were offered money in compensation for the sexual abuse they suffered as children.
- Average settlements of around $200,000 were issued to each of the 324 victims who settled.
Status of Claims Within the Rockville Center Diocese
Within the Rockville Centre Diocese, as of July 2019:
- 297 claims had been filed
- 250 settlements had already been paid or were in the process of being paid
- Settlements have been between $25,000 and $500,000
Victims who settle through IRCP relinquish all rights to take legal action against the church.
For Some It Is Not About the Money
Although settlements with the church allow victims to recover compensation for the abuse they endured, some victims care less about the money than about the awareness of the abuse that comes about only in a civil trial. They want to remove the veil of secrecy that has surrounded this abuse and also have the opportunity to face their abusers in court.
For these victims, the extension of the statute of limitations age to 55 years, (and, for one year only, to any age at all no matter how long ago the abuse occurred,) gives them a chance to pursue this objective and gain much needed peace after years of denial from the church.
Civil Claims Will Be Supported With Evidence From NY Diocesan Records
The Diocese of Rockville Centre has been the last of the New York dioceses to release a list of credibly accused clergy members. When these records have been released, they can be used to facilitate civil claims against clergy members accused of child sexual abuse and the church.
Representation From a Lawyer Can Help Victims Who Settle and Those Who Sue
Victims who choose to avail themselves of the Child Victims Act should consider hiring an attorney to represent them as soon as possible. Careful preparation of such a claim takes time and filing early will help ensure that all deadlines are met.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre uses a mediator employed by the Archdiocese of New York to reach settlement agreements with church sex abuse survivors. Although this resolution is not decided in a courtroom, many abuse victims elect to hire a lawyer to represent them throughout the IRCP mediation in an effort to maximize their compensation from the church.
Now Is Your Time for Justice
If you suffered sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre as a child, now is your time to step out of the shadows and demand the acknowledgment for the emotional and physical injury that you suffered at the hands of the church.
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today at (516) 932-0400. We will handle your case with dignity and urgency, and with the passion we have shown our Long Island clients since 1991.