Grace period: Diocese extends deadline for abuse victims to apply for compensation

Lawyers release report naming abusive priests to prompt victims to apply for diocese’s fund
Just released: A group of lawyers published a list naming 65 Brooklyn-based Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse in a new report entitled “Hidden Disgrace.”
Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse

Locals sexually abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Brooklyn have one more week to apply for the fund set up to compensate those victims.

Diocesan leaders set a new deadline of March 31 to report incidents in order to be eligible for money from the program, after announcing the fund in June 2017.

Last December, a flock of legal eagles released a list of Kings County’s corrupt Catholic priests that they hoped will encourage sexual-abuse victims to apply for compensation before it’s too late, according to one of the lawyers.

“We’re hoping to raise awareness with this report about the Brooklyn Diocese, the availability of this program for survivors, and specifically that the clock is running and there’s a hard deadline,” said Jerry Kristal, who works for law firm Weitz and Luxenberg, which released the list as part of a multi-firm collective called Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse.

The document, entitled “Hidden Disgrace,” identified 65 priests within the local diocese who were accused or convicted of sex crimes against children.

The legal eagles compiled their list of ordained predators by culling survivor testimonies, media reports, and online resources, including bishopaccountability.org, a website that documents abuse by clergymen.

The Diocese of Brooklyn created the fund to provide relief and closure to victims who can’t seek legal remedies due to statute-of-limitation laws. The program — which doesn’t require the aid of an attorney to apply — does not stop beneficiaries from naming their attackers or describing their abuse, but it does prohibit them filing suit against the Catholic Church after accepting money.

Abuse victims interested in applying for a settlement can do so online at www.brooklyndiocese-ircp.com or by calling (855) 796–3463.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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