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April 25, 2019

As Child Victims Act takes effect, some seek to void settlements

One-year window to bring old claims begins in August ALBANY — Beginning in August, people with decades-old claims of childhood sex abuse will have the rare chance to sue their alleged abusers and the institutions who they say ignored the crime. The Child Victims Act, which passed the Legislature in January, lifts the statute of limitations for reporting childhood abuse and also creates a one-year “look back” window for past claims to be brought. But hundreds who say they were abused by Catholic priests may be ineligible to pursue damages in court due to releases they signed as part of New York […]
April 23, 2019


Eight families say a teacher at a Jewish preschool in Washington repeatedly sexually abused their children over the past two years – and they contend the school’s top leader and a prominent synagogue did nothing about it, despite warnings. Disturbing claims of sexual abuse against children, between the ages of two and four at the time of the alleged crimes, are outlined in a new civil lawsuit filed late Monday against the Washington Hebrew Congregation – which operates the Edlavitch Tyser Early Childhood Center – and its head of schools, Deborah “DJ” Schneider Jensen. The suit, filed in the Superior […]
April 8, 2019

Diocese of Des Moines, following Sioux City’s lead, names 9 priests accused of abusing minors

According to the Des Moines Register, The Diocese of Des Moines on Thursday publicly named nine priests it said are credibly accused of sexually abusing minors while serving the diocese. The Allegation Review Committee, made up of of local clergy, a judge, a lawyer, a police chief and a retired teacher, substantiated allegations of abuse occurring between 1940 and 1997.  “It’s more than a sin; it’s a compulsion,” Bishop Richard Pates said at a Thursday morning press conference in downtown Des Moines. “It’s a crime.” Two of the nine names — Paul Connelly and Dennis Mangan — had not been previously tied to abuse of minors […]
April 5, 2019

Bill expanding time for child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits fails to advance

According to the Arizona Daily Star, victims of child rape and sexual abuse in the state of Arizona won’t get more time to sue their assailants, at least not this year. Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, refused to allow a vote on the measure Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee that she chairs. Cobb said she has no problem with expanding the law that now requires victims to file suit within two years of turning 18. SB 1011 would have expanded that to 12 years, meaning when someone turns 30. But Cobb said she could not support a provision in the […]
April 3, 2019

 $2M settlement to victim who priest made confess after abuse

ERIE, Pa. — A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania has agreed to pay $2 million to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest who made him say confession after the assaults. The settlement with the Diocese of Erie was announced Tuesday by the victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian. The defrocked priest, David Poulson, was sentenced this year to 2 1/2 to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of one boy and attempted sexual assault of another. “This settlement is significant because it shows that the Diocese of Erie is responsible for […]
April 1, 2019

Ex-teacher charged in sex assault of six girls to face trial

A former first-grade teacher in Nebraska who prosecutors say admitted to sexually abusing six girls has waived his preliminary hearing and will head to trial, according to reports. Gregory Sedlacek, a 30-year-old former teacher at Fontenelle Elementary School, stood before a judge on Wednesday in Omaha, where he waived his preliminary hearing in connection with six counts of first-degree sexual assault on a child and one count of third-degree sexual assault on a child, KETV reports. Deputy County Attorney Molly Keane told a judge that Sedlacek victimized six girls, all of whom he has confessed to sexually assaulting. “He admitted to […]
April 1, 2019

Advocates Say Vatican’s New Sex Abuse Policy Is Only Symbolic

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — Pope Francis on Friday enacted new legislation to the Vatican’s priest sex abuse policy in order to protect children, but defenders of victims say the change is only symbolic. The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope to Vatican officials, marks the first time the Holy See has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time. “They should not be in a position to be able to hide the sexual victimization of a vulnerable population,” said New York sex abuse attorney Laura Ahern. […]
March 30, 2019

Sexual Abuse Victim’s Attorney Jeff Herman Announces Filing of Lawsuit Against Heartland Christian Academy in Sebring, Florida

Heartland Christian Academy administration says it did not know that Jack Charles Howard III had his educator’s certificate revoked by the state for five years effective March 2016. When hiring a physical education teacher and coach in August 2018, Heartland Christian Academy administration and staff were unaware the new hire was someone who had worked for The School Board of Highlands County until being fired for disciplinary reasons. Also, Heartland Christian didn’t know that their new teacher, Jack Charles Howard III, had his educator’s certificate revoked by the state for five years effective March 2016. Howard was arrested Jan. 9 […]
March 29, 2019

Pope Issues Law, With Penalties, for Vatican City to Address Sexual Abuse

Pope Francis has issued a highly anticipated law for Vatican City officials and diplomats overseas to tackle sexual abuse, setting up what is intended to be a model for the Roman Catholic Church worldwide by requiring, for the first time, that accusations be immediately reported to Vatican prosecutors. The Vatican characterized the law — and accompanying pastoral guidelines — as a reflection of the most advanced thinking on preventing and addressing sexual abuse in the church. The law, dated March 26, calls on church authorities to listen immediately to people who say they are victims and to report any credible […]
March 5, 2019


The New York Child Victims Act is now law.  It is great news for victims but it also creates many new issues for these same people.  Prior to passage of the CVA, victims had to file their civil cases before they turned 23 years old.  Of course, most survivors of child sexual abuse did not meet this overly restrictive deadline.  Having no legal recourse, many victims have spent decades trying to move on and suppress these memories.  Now seemingly overnight, anyone who was sexually abused as a child in New York and the ability to file a civil lawsuit and […]
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