The Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese is hoping to release a report on how their independent reconciliation and compensation program (IRCP) have been going for people alleging abuse by clergy. The IRCP was established in early 2018 with the intention of allowing victims of clergy abuse to seek compensation.
Although this program may have helped some victims of abuse, there is mixed feelings and reports about the true intentions of the Diocese in the wake of the passing of the Child Victims Act only one year later.
The IRCP Program
As part of the IRCP, last year the Syracuse Diocese invited about 70 people with known allegations of abuse against the clergy to take part in the settlement program. Participants negotiated with an independent mediator, rather than the diocese itself. In lieu of accepting a settlement, participants were forced to give up their rights of filing a future lawsuit against the diocese.
Danielle Cummings, a spokeswoman for the diocese, noted that the settlement program was successful. However, not all of the victims of clergy abuse share the same feeling of success with regard to the IRCP – especially in light of the of the Child Victims Act passing one year later.
The Impact of the Child Victims Act
Many people who experienced clergy abuse decades ago were not able to sue in New York until recent legislation. The Child Victims Act passed on February 14, 2019, extending the statute of limitations to report abuse and creating a one-year look back window for those who were previously barred to bring their case to court.
With the support of the Child Victims Act swelling in recent years, the Diocese of Syracuse was criticized for running the program when it did. Since the passing of the law, a lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of New York over a compensation program that is similar to the one in Syracuse. The plaintiffs claim the diocese pushed the IRCP because they knew the Child Victims Act would pass in the near future.
There is no doubt that New York victims of clergy abuse now have an alternative to the IRCP by bringing direct lawsuit against the clergy and the institutions that harbored them under the Child Victims Act.
NYC Child Sex Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one is the victim of childhood school sexual abuse, you need to know how the Child Victims Act can help you get the justice you deserve. For more information or to better understand how this law can help you, please call our professional help center at 212-385-4410.