The Diocese of Rochester abruptly canceled its voluntary program to compensate victims of child sexual abuse by its clergy. This will not affect claims previously submitted. But this sudden decision could mean more lawsuits being will filed by victims. Although the Diocese of Rochester publicly says its decision is the result of the recent passage of the Child Victims Act eliminating the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases, this appears to be a dubious explanation as the defense of lawsuits is typically viewed to be as more costly for a defendant than a compensation program. Instead, the Diocese of Rochester’s decision is fueling explanation of a future Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing by the Diocese of Rochester. Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano of the Diocese of Rochester has not publicly commented on the decision or the possibility of a bankruptcy filing.
According to published reports, the Diocese of Rochester’s compensation program has received thirty submissions. But the total number of child sex abuse victims in the Diocese of Rochester is expected to be much higher than that as there are over thirty former priests of the Diocese of Rochester who have been public accused of child sexual abuse: Father David L. Bonin; Thomas W. Burr; Albert H. Cason; Bernard Casper; Paul Cloonan; Thomas Corbett; John Costello; Eugene Emo; Robert Gaudio; John Gormley; David Gramkee; Gerard Guli; Robert Hammond; John Heathwood; G. Stuart Hogan; Joseph E. Larrabee; William D. Lum; Charles J. McCarthy; Robert F. O’Neill; Richard J. Orlando; Vincent Panepinto; Foster P. Rogers; Paul R. Schnacky; Dennis R. Sewar; Dennis J. Shaw; Gary P. Shaw; David P. Simon; John J. Steger; Conrad Sundholm; Thomas J. Valenti; Francis H. Vogt; Michael Volino; and Robert J. Winkerton.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rochester. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Rochester now have legal options to file a lawsuit against the Diocese of Rochester.