Here’s the benefit of extending the statute of limitations on when you can sue someone for sexually abusing you.
Just hours after New York’s governor signed into law the Child Victims Act, which gets rid of the expiration date for filing sexual abuse claims with child victims and opens a one-year window for victims of any age, there was already a lawsuit against the Catholic Church.
46-year-old Kevin Braney filed the lawsuit against Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio (below), whom he accuses of sexually abusing him when he was a 15-year-old altar boy in the late 1980s. The lawsuit also names two other priests, Charles Eckermann and James F. Quinn as abusers, though both died years ago.
“Eckermann and Angelicchio had tortured Kevin’s mind, body and soul to the point that he believed that the relentless abuse and rapes were part of his job as an altar boy,” the lawsuit states.
Even bigger than the lawsuit itself is the type of lawsuit it is:
The lawsuit has been filed as a class action case, meaning other possible plaintiffs can join. The lawsuit lists up to 1,000 possible “John Doe” victims of sexual abuse by Syracuse Diocese priests. The lawsuit also accuses four to 200 unnamed “John Doe” priests as defendants, alongside Angelicchio, Eckermann and Quinn.
Braney’s lawsuit also accuses impropriety from the Diocese itself, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Bishop Robert J. Cunningham.
The lawsuit also says the Syracuse Diocese offered Braney $300,000 as part of a settlement last year. He rejected it. All of the money that was eventually paid out to 85 other victims were covered by parishioners (who really need to rethink how much money they give to the Church).
With the new law in place, though, these types of lawsuits are going to be flying every which way. Catholic Church leaders may finally have to face the consequences of their actions.