BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When the clock struck midnight on Wednesday morning, attorney Steve Boyd's law offices were filled with staffers, survivors of child sex abuse, and media as the first claims under the Child Victims Act's one-year look back window.
The window allows victims of child sex abuse to file claims against alleged abusers with no statute of limitations-- meaning the alleged abuse could have happened decades ago.
A lot to cover. 96 filings. 94 of which are Buffalo Diocese filings. Most recent is from 1996 against Father Riter. The reason that all of these are being filed now is because it’s a first come first serve basis for trials. @WKBW https://t.co/vYz6ZfWYdz— Jeff Slawson (@Jeffslawson) August 14, 2019
Here are some of the important pieces of information we've uncovered:
1948 Father Frances Hogan in Jamestown
1996 Father Riter at Our Lady Perpetual Help
Riter was the first active priest suspended after the 2018 sex abuse scandal.
Names seen multiple times
- Joseph Friel: 9 times from 14 Holy Helpers in West Seneca
- James Hayes: 5 times at All Saints Church in Buffalo
- Donald Becker: 3 times at Saint Peter and Paul in Hamburg
Here are some important non-diocese related cases you should know about.
Boy Scouts of America & Greater Niagara Frontier Council
- Six plaintiffs are listed, accusing the following four men
- Norman Grimm
- Robert Eberhardt
- Robert Moll Jr.
- Ronald Williams
East Aurora Middle School
- Plaintiff claims they were abused by Physical Education teacher Kathleen Ann Kirk from 1973-1975
- According to court documents: Kirk admitted to the East Aurora District that she had slept with the student -- this was around 1982
- And, according to court documents: Kirk remained employed with the East Aurora School District until, "at least 2003"
- Plaintiff alleges they were abused by Jay Nathan while Nathan was staying at the plaintiff's parents home in Williamsville in 1971
- The plaintiff claims they were 3-years-old at the time of the abuse
As for why so many filings are happening right at midnight and the early hours of today is due to the way cases are being assigned? Trial date is based on chronological order of when filings took place.
There are two judges for clergy victims and those that file first will see court dates first.
For some in Boyd's office early Wednesday morning, it has been a long wait.
NOW: Survivor Michael Whalen sees his case filed. A moment full of tears and hugs.— Nikki DeMentri (@nikkidementri) August 14, 2019
“It’s a long time coming.”@WKBW pic.twitter.com/wmFzR10UME
Michael Whalen was one of the first to come forward in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo sex abuse crisis. He spoke with Charlie Specht throughout Specht's ongoing investigation.
The majority of the claims visible on the New York State Supreme Court's database as of Wednesday morning were made against the Diocese of Buffalo. Bishop Malone released a video on Youtube ahead of the Child Victims Act's look-back window opening.
Search through the entire database compiled by 7 Eyewitness News
NOTE: This database contains information publicly available at nycourts.gov. Plaintiffs named in the database filed claims using their names. In the cases of plaintiffs who filed anonymously, 7 Eyewitness News included the Doe/Roe name and number assigned by the representing attorney.