A former teacher at the now-closed Immaculata Academy in Hamburg, who is also a former mayor of Blasdell, has been named in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed on behalf of three women now in their 50s. WBFO's Marian Hetherly talked with Attorney Dan Chiacchia, representing the women who attended Immaculata when they say the abuse by teacher Michael McGuire took place.
The lawsuit comes when the issue of sexual abuse has been in the spotlight after the Child Victims Act re-opened the statute of liitations for hundreds to allege in court that they suffered long-ago abuse that would otherwise not be able to be brought into court.
In a seperate matter on that broader topic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation strengthening protections for minors against felony sex offenders.
"The underlying intent of Marie's Law is to protect and prevent victims of sexual abuse who are related to each other who may come into contact and be revictimized with that registered offender," said Assemblymember Charles Fall (D-Staten Island), who co-sponsored the measure with Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island).
In a statement Thursday, Cuomo said the new law prevents minors from being placed in the custody of a person who has been convicted of rape in the first or second degree, sexual conduct against a child in the first degree or predatory sexual assault against a child.
It also prohibits courts from placing a child in the custody of an adult who previously committed a felony sexual offense against them, and it prevents sex offenders from having unsupervised visits with a person who has been convicted of a felony sexual offense against the subject of the visitation order.
"Courts already consider these factors in determining whether to place a child in custody of or allow unsupervised visits with an individual, but this new law now mandates it," Cuomo said.