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New York's new Child Victims Act has not only opened a one-year window for new litigation against abusers in the church, but other organizations that work with youth. Tuesday afternoon, the New York City-based law firm that has taken on the Catholic Church announced new lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America.

Late last week, a local attorney announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo which includes a RICO civil action, or Racketeer Influenced Criminal Organizations Act. Another local attorney not involved with the litigation likens the use of a RICO action to "an H-bomb."

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

A small group of church whistleblowers held a demonstration in front of Bishop Richard Malone's residence Sunday to call attention to what they call the "sickly dysfunctional environment" at the Buffalo Catholic Diocese's Christ the King Seminary.

Attorney's lawsuit against Diocese includes RICO action

Aug 16, 2019
WBFO file photo

A Tonawanda attorney has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Buffalo which includes a strategy best known as one used by federal prosecutors against organized crime. Kevin Stocker's lawsuit, filed on behalf of 23 plaintiffs, alleges the Diocese and its partners engaged in a pattern of behavior intended to protect the church's "brand" and assets at the expense of sexual abuse victims.

St. Stephen School News

Two more priests have been put on administrative leave. The move comes after the priests were publicly named in sexual abuse lawsuits filed Wednesday, the first day of the one-year Child Victims Act window.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

It was an emotional day Wednesday, as hundreds of childhood sexual abuse survivors filed lawsuits in New York courts on the first day of a one-year window of opportunity for victims to seek civil action against their abusers.


James Faluszczak

More priests affiliated with the Buffalo Catholic Diocese are being publicly accused of sexually abusing children. Five members of the clergy – three living and two deceased – are among those newly named in lawsuits filed Wednesday, as New York’s Child Victims Act one-year lookback window went into effect.


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At 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, the one-year window of opportunity opened for many child sex abuse plaintiffs who were unable to pursue litigation under the statute of limitation.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

More than 230 cases are already expected to be filed in Erie County during the statewide one-year window that starts Wednesday and allows survivors of child sex abuse to file charges against their abuser—regardless of when the abuse took place.


Wednesday is the first day of a yearlong legal window to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue their alleged abusers. Hundreds of cases are expected to be filed on the first day alone.


Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America are hitting back at lawyers who say the BSA will be sued in New York State late this summer over sexual abuse by scouting leaders. National scout leaders say they have actively barred possible abusers from the organization's activities.

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A Niagara County woman, who alleges being sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest when she was a teenager is suing the Diocese of Buffalo. It is believed to be the first suit of its kind, locally, since the state's Child Victims Act was signed into law earlier this month.

Office of the Governor

More victims of sexual abuse will get a chance to tell their story, perhaps to a jury, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law Thursday.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed the Child Victims Act, which gives survivors of childhood sexual abuse more access to pursue their abusers in court.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

As the Child Victims Act was being approved Monday, four victims were in an Amherst law firm conference room with their attorneys, talking about their cases and what the new law does for them.

Karen DeWitt

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are hailing the passage of the Child Victims Act at the New York State Capitol, which will give victims their day in court.

Governor's Office

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to present his 2019 State of the State Address Tuesday, Siena College is out with good news from eligible voters.

Buffalo Stories

Mediators for the Buffalo Catholic Diocese have decided an award of $650,000 to a survivor of priest sexual abuse, which his attorney said is the largest sum made public to settle such a case.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese

Steven Timmel, the Buffalo Catholic Diocese’s chief financial officer, is resigning. The move becomes effective at the end of this upcoming January. It’s another one of Bishop Richard Malone’s staff members to step down over the past year as the diocese continues to handle the clergy abuse scandal.

It's perhaps the oldest cliche in New York State politics and government: three men in a room. That changes Monday.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

With a pending change in political leadership in the New York State Senate, hopes are renewed for passage of a proposal which would ease statutes of limitation for adults seeking criminal or civil justice in childhood sexual abuse cases. On Thursday, a Republican State Senator introduced his own version of such legislation, while advocates for victims of alleged abuse by clergy suggest the church may seek to limit liability if such a bill is passed next year.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

With control of the New York State Senate on the ballot Election Day, state legislation about child abuse by clergy has moved onto the political scene.

WBFO file photo

As supporters of New York State's proposed Child Victims Act urge lawmakers to get it passed next session, a Republican State Senator says an alternative bill she's sponsoring would do more for child sexual abuse victims by fully eliminating statues of limitation and add clergy to the list of "mandated reporters."


WBFO file photo/Avery Schneider

In light of recent news involving alleged sexual abuse and how Catholic Church leaders have managed it over many years, calls are being renewed to pass the Child Victims Act in New York State. A State Senator who strongly supports the bill says the votes are there but the current leadership in that house won't bring it up for a vote.


WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

The New York State Senate has passed a bill that would protect students from sexual abuse.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says this bill calls to close a loophole preventing private schools from reporting abuse and will require training. 

State lawmakers started passing budget bills late Thursday night into Friday morning, even though some major issues related to the spending plan are still not resolved. They need to finish by mid-day Friday so legislators and staff can get home for the Passover and Easter holidays.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

On the same day the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo released a list of 42 clergy accused of sexually abusing minors, a childhood sex abuse victim - himself allegedly abused by a now-deceased priest - shared his experience of coming to terms and reaching out for help.

Karen DeWitt

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse delivered an emotional appeal to state senators today, after they learned that the Senate did not put the Child Victims Act into their budget plan. The measure would offer more opportunities for survivors to gain justice in the court system.


Nick Lippa WBFO

Local officials are urging the New York State Senate to move quickly on approving the Child Victims Act. A resolution submitted by Erie County Legislature Chairman Peter Savage will be presented at the legislature session today.

Karen DeWitt

Victims of childhood sexual abuse are hoping that the #MeToo movement will help them enact the Child Victims Act in New York. The measure extends the statute of criminal and civil limitations for victims beyond the current age of 23 to age 50 and adds a one-year look back window to file civil suits.


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