FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–January 4, 2021
- Two child sexual abuse survivors bring suit against the Archdiocese of New York and St. Mary’s. Both plaintiffs claim to have been abused by the same two men—Father Raymond Foster and Father William Lombardy—and each plaintiff had eerily similar experiences.
- The complaint alleges that the Archdiocese and St. Mary’s were aware of numerous priests, clerics, and employees sexually abusing children, but fostered a culture of silence among their leaders.
- This lawsuit has been filed using the Child Victims Act (CVA), which allows adult survivors of childhood abuse to file claims against their abusers.
A new lawsuit filed this week in Bronx County against the Archdiocese of New York, the Archbishop, and the Archdiocese’s former parish St. Mary’s Church (on Carpenter Avenue in the Bronx) alleges that two priests, Father Raymond Foster and Father William Lombardy,1repeatedly abused two altar boys, Joseph Telesca and Anthony Mazzucca, at the St. Mary’s school and church. Foster’s abuse allegedly started when each child was 9 years old and spanned a few years for each, whereas Lombardy allegedly began abusing the plaintiffs in or around each one’s 7th grade year. The complaint alleges that Mazzucca informed St. Mary’s staff about the abuse while it was ongoing but was told he would go to hell if he kept talking about it, and then was subjected to corporal punishment.
The complaint alleges that that each plaintiff’s abuse occurred independently from the other but that both of their experiences were remarkably similar.
The wrongful conduct alleged includes:
- Foster abusing Telesca throughout the late 1960s at St. Mary’s school and the rectory, by exposing him to pornography, fondling him, and eventually sodomizing him up to twice a week, around when Telesca was in 4th through 6th or 7th grade;
- Lombardy fondling Telesca’s genitals on several occasions, around when Telesca was in 7th or 8th grade;
- Foster abusing Mazzucca throughout the early 1970s in St. Mary’s school and the rectory by fondling him, exposing himself to Mazzucca, showing him pornography, and performing fellatio on him up to a few times per month(as well as a single sodomy incident), around when Mazzucca was in 4th through 7th grade;
- Lombardy abusing Mazzucca by using ostensible discussions about chess to touch Mazzucca inappropriately and masturbate in front of him; and
- The Archdiocese and St. Mary’s utterly failing to put a stop to Foster and Lombardy’s sexually deviant conduct and/or to maintain appropriate policies and procedures to properly monitor and supervise these priests and detect child abuse.
The complaint also alleges that Mazzucca informed a lead administrative staff member at St. Mary’s that Father Foster was touching him inappropriately, but St. Mary’s dismissed him and the abuse continued.
“Every diocese had a duty to be aware of what was going on at its own parishes and was not permitted to turn a blind eye,” said Andrew S. Janet, an attorney in the Janet, Janet & Suggs Sexual Abuse Division. “The lawsuit alleges that even when one of my clients tried to report this to his school multiple times, he was told he would go to hell if he kept talking that way. Any response of that nature would obviously discourage abuse survivors from reporting horrific things that were happening to them. It would foster a culture of silence.”
This lawsuit is possible because of the Child Victims Act (CVA), which allows child sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits against their abusers and the institutions that enabled the abuse for a limited period of time, even if they would previously have been considered expired under the statute of limitations. CVA lawsuits can be filed at any point until August 14, 2021.
About Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC
This complaint has been submitted by Andrew S. Janet and Brenda A. Harkavy, both attorneys in the Janet, Janet & Suggs Sexual Abuse Division. This specialized division represents survivors of sexual abuse nationwide, many of whom were abused as children by trusted authority figures, such as clergy members, priests, doctors, and coaches.
Case Filing #70001/2021E
FULL COMPLAINT AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
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