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.

Cases: 2079749

Reported Deaths: 52866
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings27678810296
Queens2737089834
Suffolk1991483377
Nassau1820273160
Bronx1810416525
New York1366004442
Westchester1287032265
Erie881151775
Richmond738571805
Monroe663201067
Orange47777810
Rockland46607955
Onondaga37901671
Dutchess29107443
Albany24385350
Oneida22203505
Niagara19634358
Broome18300356
Saratoga15071166
Ulster13733251
Schenectady12948198
Rensselaer11072140
Putnam1053191
Chautauqua8776140
Chemung7516135
Oswego739790
Ontario728392
Steuben6746143
Sullivan653372
St. Lawrence648096
Cayuga617792
Jefferson588466
Wayne562267
Cattaraugus555987
Genesee5333123
Herkimer5094107
Clinton478433
Madison445888
Livingston433658
Fulton432491
Tompkins422151
Montgomery4188123
Columbia3991101
Cortland372860
Tioga367161
Warren357757
Wyoming349752
Allegany339884
Chenango339276
Otsego339047
Greene335475
Washington307355
Orleans304383
Lewis267634
Franklin251612
Delaware231137
Seneca197756
Schoharie165516
Essex157326
Yates116726
Schuyler102814
Hamilton3072
Unassigned13864
Out of NY0234
Utica
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Oneonta
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 54°
Herkimer
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
Old Forge
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 44°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve