SYRACUSE — Survivors of child sexual abuse within the Diocese of Syracuse have until April 15, 2021 to file claims against the Diocese, a judge ruled.
During a hearing held on Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Diocese of Syracuse’s bankruptcy case, Chief Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of New York stated that survivors have until April 15, 2021.
“The shortened deadline emphasizes the urgency for survivors to break the silence and make the call. It’s time for reckoning,” said attorney Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates.
Anderson and Albany attorney Cynthia LaFave represent dozens of survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy in Upstate New York and have filed more than 60 clergy sexual abuse cases against the Diocese since the New York Child Victims Act took effect in August of 2019.
“In light of yesterday’s decision regarding the bar date in this matter — we’re looking ahead. It’s imperative that survivors of the Syracuse Diocese come forward as soon as they possibly can,” said attorney Cynthia LaFave. “We understand that the decision to seek representation is a monumental step in and of itself, and that some survivors may never have shared their abuse with anyone before picking up the phone or walking through our door. We don’t take our role, nor the magnitude of the decision, lightly.”
“In an ideal world, time would be no object,” LaFave continued. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. We’re here to listen and to offer support, and we’re prepared to take up this fight on behalf of the survivors we represent. Now that survivors have envisioned a safer future—in which these systems of power are, at the very least, held accountable and the wellbeing of individuals is made priority — we are all called to action.”