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More than 900 abuse claims filed against Buffalo diocese under Child Victims Act

At Saturday’s close of the “lookback” window created by New York’s Child Victims Act, more than 900 child sex abuse claims against the Buffalo diocese were counted by The Buffalo News.

The total number of abuse claims, which as of Monday is 924, is more than twice the largest number of claims ever filed in a U.S. diocese bankruptcy proceeding since 2004, they reported.

Ilan D. Scharf, an attorney for the committee of unsecured creditors in the case, told The News that some claims are duplicates or amended claims, while others may still be in the mail or have not been processed yet.

The sex abuse claims within the Diocese of Buffalo account for almost one-tenth of all “lookback” abuse claims in New York, which recorded 10,857 claims, The News said.

Religious establishments, and especially Catholic institutions, accounted for “slightly more than half of all lawsuits, according to a preliminary analysis by Child USA,” they said.

The lookback window, which closed Aug. 14, allowed child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits after their statute of limitations had ended.

106 clergy sex abuse claims that were resolved in 2019 by compensation settlements with the Buffalo diocese are not included in the total number, The News reported.

Bishop Michael Fisher of Buffalo said Aug. 16 that the matter of sex abuse “is a tragedy of truly epic proportions and as I have maintained since day one as bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, it is of paramount importance to deal with these allegations forthrightly and to work to repair the enormous damage that has been done not only to the reputation of the Church here in Western New York, but most importantly to the lives of those affected,” he said.

Read more at Catholic World Report

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