STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

New Hartford man sues Diocese of Syracuse, Camp Nazareth over priest sex abuse

The suit comes on the first day of New York State’s new “Child Victims Act”, which allows people to file civil lawsuits that had previously been barred by the state's statute of limitations.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 3:26 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 6:11 PM

NEW HARTFORD – A man who claims he was sexually abused by a local priest as a boy has filed suit against the Diocese of Syracuse and other organizations.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in State Supreme Court in Syracuse, Steven Moran of New Hartford alleges he was sexually abused as a child by Thomas Neary, a priest who was assigned to St. John the Evangelist Church in New Hartford. Moran says from 1954-1960 Neary abused him at several locations in Central New York, including the church, Camp Nazareth in Woodgate, Neary’s parents’ house in Solvay, and in Neary’s car. Moran was approximately ten years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

St. John the Evangelist Church in New Hartford

Moran’s lawsuit alleges personal injuries, emotional distress, and anguish as a result of the sexual abuse. The lawsuit says the Diocese is responsible for monetary damages because they knew or should have known that Neary was a predator and allowed him to be a priest and have access to children anyway. St. John the Evangelist Church and Camp Nazareth are also named as defendants, as well as a second unidentified priest. Neary died in 2001 at the age of 83.

The suit comes on the first day of New York State’s new “Child Victims Act”, which allows people one year to file civil lawsuits that had previously been barred by the state's statute of limitations, which were among the nation's tightest. Lawmakers voted this year to extend the statute of limitations going forward and to create the one-year litigation window to give victims a new chance to file lawsuits.

In a letter to the Diocese dated August 10, newly-installed Bishop Douglas Lucia addressed the Child Victims Act, saying in part “…To all victims, I once again in the name of the Diocese of Syracuse apologize most deeply and sincerely for the heinous acts perpetrated against them by their abusers who were supposed to be the caregiver of souls. I renew my offer to meet with victims, if there is any way I can assist them in their search for healing and peace.”

NewsChannel 2 has reached out to Moran’s attorney for comment on the lawsuit.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 420860

Reported Deaths: 32774
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22783223580
Suffolk437861998
Nassau436552194
Westchester362051447
Rockland13942674
Orange11159491
Erie8904671
Monroe4956285
Dutchess4607153
Onondaga3576200
Albany2595128
Oneida2146115
Ulster206292
Niagara149898
Sullivan148948
Putnam144963
Broome112669
Schenectady105837
Rensselaer76530
Saratoga75717
Columbia54037
Madison41217
Ontario36034
Warren30833
Orleans29854
Steuben29842
Fulton29624
Greene29218
Genesee2775
Herkimer2744
St. Lawrence2634
Washington25914
Chautauqua2539
Oswego2533
Wayne2503
Tompkins2340
Chenango2166
Tioga19325
Livingston1768
Montgomery1764
Chemung1713
Cattaraugus1656
Cayuga1522
Jefferson1420
Clinton1274
Wyoming1185
Otsego1165
Delaware1054
Cortland950
Seneca893
Allegany791
Schoharie690
Yates577
Essex550
Franklin540
Lewis410
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 93°
Oneonta
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 87°
Herkimer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 93°
Thendara
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 93°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left