(Buffalo, NY) – Today, attorneys from the law firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Steve Boyd, PC, on behalf of numerous courageous survivors, filed another 76 child sexual abuse complaints under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA) involving abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo. The firms have now filed a total of 181 lawsuits involving abuse in the Diocese.
“The number of lawsuits represents staggering levels of abuse and pain caused by perpetrators who hid behind the Roman collar,” said attorney Steve Boyd. “We are proud to stand with these courageous survivors.”
The Diocese of Buffalo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Among the complaints:
- 50 total perpetrators implicated in 76 lawsuits alleging abuse in the Diocese;
- 11 priests, religious women/nuns and a teacher publicly identified as abusing children in the Diocese for the first time: Fr. Michael J. Campbell; Fr. Francis Baratto; Fr. William Connor; Sr. Mary Columbine, C.S.S.F.; Fr. William J. Honer; Charles Lyons (teacher St. Brigid); Fr. Henry Lex; Fr. Stephen Ladika; Fr. John Kean; Sr. M. Cassiana, SSJ; Fr. John Gabalski;
- Additional lawsuits involving notorious perpetrators: Fr. Donald Becker (3); Fr. Robert Biesinger (2); Fr. James Burson, C.J.M. (2); Fr. Fred Fingerle (6); Fr. Ralph Federico (3); Fr. Mark Friel (2); Fr. Gerard L. Green (3); Fr. Joseph Friel (2); Fr. Richard Judd (1); Fr. Gerald Jasinski (2); Fr. James P. Hayes (3); Fr. Michael Harrington (3); Fr. Michael Lewandowski (1); Fr. John D. Lewandowski (3); Fr. Richard Keppeler (2); Fr. Thomas Kemp (2); Msgr. Edward Kazmierczak (3); Fr. Bernard Mach (2); Fr. Michael Freeman (1); Fr. Hajduk (1); Fr. Brian Hatrick (1); and Fr. Florian Jasinski (2).
“The magnitude of this crisis is in bright focus in Buffalo,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “The survivors’ courage and the Child Victims Act are the beacons of truth.”
The deadline to file a lawsuit under the New York Child Victims Act is August 13, 2020. Even though the Diocese of Buffalo has filed for bankruptcy, and no claims bar date has been set by the bankruptcy court, sexual abuse survivors should take action by August 13, 2020, to preserve their legal rights under the New York CVA.