Familiar names in flurry of sex abuse lawsuits

In a flurry of hundreds of sex abuse lawsuits filed statewide on Wednesday, were several local suits, naming familiar defendants.

Posted: Aug 15, 2019 6:04 PM
Updated: Aug 15, 2019 6:43 PM

UTICA - In a flurry of hundreds of sex abuse lawsuits filed statewide on Wednesday, were several local suits, naming familiar defendants.

The suits were made possible when New York State's new Child Victims Act went into effect on Wednesday, suspending the statute of limitations for certain crimes for one year. Some suits were electronically filed as early as 12:42 a.m.

Among six lawsuits against the Syracuse Diocese announced by law firms in Syracuse Thursday was one naming St. Peter's Church in Utica, where a male victim, now approximately 60 years old, claims Father Felix Colosimo was assigned at the time he abuse him.

"This happened in 1976 and at the time, the survivor was 17-years-old. He had been very active as a parishioner and an altar boy in the church and he was abused by Father Felix Colosimo," says Attorney Cynthia Lafave, whose firm is representing several alleged victims/plaintiffs. Lafave says the physical abuse was only part of the betrayal.

"They were threatened about things that would happen if they told by the very abusers themselves."

Also filed on Wednesday was a lawsuit against the Rome City School District and Stokes Elementary School. A then-11-year-old female victim claims she was abused by a band teacher, Michael Carletta, around 1989 or 1990. The Boy Scouts of America Leatherstocking Council also found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Three now-adult male victims identified only by the initials J.D., R.S. and R.P., claim they were abused by a Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmasters, in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Boy Scouts of America issued a statement saying, in part, "....first and foremost, we care deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children..."

The statement goes on to say the Boy Scouts of America supports the complete elimination of the criminal statute of limitations for child abuse.

The New York City and Albany-area attorneys who announced the six lawsuits against the Syracuse Diocese on Thursday say it is just the beginning.

"This is a handful of survivors with whom we've worked and been able to start suit. We currently represent 22 survivors involving abuse by clerics in total, the Diocese of Syracuse," said attorney Jeff Anderson.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 498646

Reported Deaths: 33433
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens765237293
Kings749037387
Bronx552134987
Nassau494962208
Suffolk488292019
Westchester403221470
New York358973195
Rockland17832683
Richmond171741095
Orange13548505
Erie12971713
Monroe7256300
Dutchess5465163
Onondaga5399207
Albany3613136
Broome351683
Oneida2709128
Ulster251595
Niagara2065101
Putnam180563
Sullivan176548
Chemung17103
Schenectady156450
Saratoga133417
Rensselaer109442
Steuben98457
Chautauqua90513
Columbia69938
Ontario66335
Oswego6234
Tioga61030
Tompkins6090
Madison56317
Cortland5420
Greene50118
Wayne4825
Cattaraugus4706
Warren45733
Orleans40154
Otsego3985
St. Lawrence3964
Herkimer39010
Cayuga3892
Chenango3887
Genesee3845
Fulton36224
Washington33514
Livingston3038
Allegany2891
Montgomery2664
Clinton2445
Jefferson2060
Essex1970
Wyoming1865
Delaware1737
Seneca1423
Schuyler1240
Yates1217
Lewis1200
Schoharie1100
Franklin800
Hamilton160
Unassigned021
Utica
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 45°
Oneonta
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 43°
Herkimer
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 45°
Thendara
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 45°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
VOTE OCTOBER 22-30
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left