NY Child Victims Act Prompts Three Brothers to Break Silence to Each Other, Discover All Were Abused by Same Doctor in Same Way
(New York, NY) – Today, on behalf of five brave survivors, attorneys from the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Abend & Silber, PLLC filed five new child sexual abuse complaints under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA) against Rockefeller University Hospital, alleging abuse by Doctor Reginald Archibald, an endocrinologist and notorious serial child abuser. Of the survivors filing suit today, three are brothers subjected to abuse through Archibald’s “growth studies,” a practice through which it is suspected the doctor was able to abuse hundreds of children.
”Dr. Archibald was a skilled predator who used his position at a distinguished research hospital to lure in trusting parents who unknowingly served their children up to a wolf” said attorney Josh Silber. “As one of our survivor client’s has said repeatedly, as bad as it was to suffer from the abuse, he feels his trusting mother was the real victim here. He was thankful she passed away without ever having known about the atrocities her children suffered at the hands of this acclaimed doctor.”
Plaintiffs and brothers Frank, Joseph, and Vincent Pulizzi were abused from approximately 1959 to 1961 by Archibald during one of his growth studies but did not discuss their abuse with anyone, not even each other, until recently. News coverage of Archibald and the New York Child Victims Act opened the way for a dialogue between the brothers that revealed they were all living with the same, secret, devastating experience of child sexual abuse by the same doctor.
“It took many years to come to terms with what happened to me as a child. And all these years, I never even knew my own brothers were going through the same emotional trauma. I just hope that no other child has to suffer the way we did and knowing now that it could have been prevented makes it even worse.” —Vincent Pulizzi, survivor
“At this point in my life, I chose to pursue justice in the case against Rockefeller University because they knew what Dr. Archibald was doing and should have stopped it. My objective and goal is to never have this happen to anyone again and that no other family be disrupted and negatively affected by a single perverted individual and cover-up by a prestigious institution for so long.” —Joseph Pulizzi, survivor
“I trusted this doctor and he did things that were unspeakable. As children, we didn’t even know that what he was doing was wrong and that causes so many problems in your life. All these years later we now know how this has affected my life and I am glad I am able to seek justice. Now, receiving counseling I have finally been able to learn to trust again and to try to get beyond the guilt and shame I have carried around for so long.” —Frank Pulizzi, survivor
The Pulizzi brothers sharing their stories with each other shed new light on the destruction the abuse had inflicted on them and their family. And similarly, the lawsuits they are bringing today shed light on a legacy of abuse and secrecy across the history of Rockefeller Hospital. Although multiple investigations have been made into Archibald, it is survivors coming forward that truly exposes the scope and scale of the abuse.
Following a series of sexual abuse reports naming Archibald, hospital administration released a letter to former patients, informing them that “the University retained Debevoise & Plimpton LLP to investigate reports of sexual misconduct by Dr. Archibald.” The resulting report was released on May 23, 2019. Its key findings include:
- Dr. Archibald engaged in acts of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse toward many of his pediatric patients while employed by Rockefeller University Hospital.
- Dr. Archibald took advantage of his position as a trusted and respected physician and researcher, engaged in a widespread pattern of misconduct and sexually abused many children at the hospital over the course of many years when offering patients medical care and treatment.
- Dr. Archibald typically saw patients once a year, and sometimes more frequently if they were on medication. For comparison purposes, Archibald also sometimes saw siblings who did not have growth or endocrine issues.
- In late 1960, the New York County District Attorney’s Office issued a grand jury subpoena for medical records for two of Archibald’s patients, presumably prompted by a complaint and the then-President of RU was made aware of the investigation.
- The investigation concluded by noting that there were warning signs of Dr. Archibald’s sexual abuse of children that could have been seen, appreciated or further pursued earlier.
”The Child Victims Act has provided an opportunity for these courageous survivors to speak out about the horrors they suffered then and now,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “Dr. Archibald’s pattern of predation was allowed to continue for decades with the endorsement of a prestigious institution.”