1. Various, placards with pictures of accused abusers
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Reck, attorney:
"What this new law does is, number one, it brings out information, exposure and accountability that these institutions have been unable and incapable of doing. Institutions like the Catholic Church, institutions like the Boy Scouts of America. Institutions like the private schools here in Manhattan. The day camps. The tutors. The scholars, the teachers. All of those individuals and those institutions can now be held accountable."
3. Various, accuser Joseph Caramanno pointing to his alleged abuser
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Joseph Caramanno, Accuser:
" I hope that my faith is restored in the church. You know, I've been having trouble with my religious practice over the years. Getting back there I hope that that can be renewed and I hope that we shouldn't have to think twice about, you know, sending children especially to Catholic schools, Catholic church events, Catholic organizations. That should not be a question that should not be in the back of our minds and I hope that this sets that straight so that in the future the church is the sanctuary that it is meant to be for all of us."
5. Press conference in Manhattan with Attorney Sarah Klein, left, standing with accusers Auset Love, middle, and Joanne Schoonmaker who are filing sexual abuse lawsuits against the New York Public Schools
"Because of the new Child victim act I will finally have the opportunity, which I am right now, to tell my story in the court of law. And find out what the school officials in Wellsville (The Wellsville Central School District in Wellsville, NY, Allegany County) knew about Wade's abuse (referring to Robert Alexander Wade who was a janitor at the school) and when they knew it. I hope my story will help convince other survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Auset Love, Accuser:
"It is very painful for me to relive this abuse by standing here and telling my story. I am willing to endure the pain in the hope that other children will never have to tell this kind of story when they grow up. I am so grateful to the governor and the legislature of New York for passing this Child Victims Act so I have the opportunity to come forward and seek justice against my abuser and those who have the responsibility to protect me from him."
The Roman Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts, schools and hospitals are some of the targets named in a flurry of sex abuse lawsuits filed Wednesday in New York as the state began accepting cases that had been blocked by an old statute of limitations.
"What this new law does is, number one, it brings out information, exposure and accountability that these institutions have been unable and incapable of doing," according to Mike Reck, an attorney whose law firm is representing an accuser.
Hundreds of people sued the church or one of its several New York dioceses. Among them is Joseph Caramanno, who said an academic dean of St. Joseph By The Sea High School in Staten Island abused him when he was 16 years old.
Caramanno, who suffered from depression and anxiety after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, would go to Monsignor John Paddack's office to take his medication.
He said Paddock "would bring his chair around the desk and he would sit next to me and there was a lot of rubbing of his hands and legs upon mine."
"I would go to his office to get out of class a lot of times. And that was always the safe space. It was the space where I wasn't going to be judged. Where I wasn't willing to be, you know, have to explain myself. I was going through a lot of depression and anxiety at the time. It was right after 9/11. I had been hospitalized before that. So at the school this was the one place where I could go. I was told that it was safe and I didn't have to worry. But that's where the abuse occurred," Caramanno said.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of lawsuits are expected as plaintiffs rush to take advantage of the one-year litigation window, created by state lawmakers this year to give alleged abuse victims a second chance to sue over abuse that, in many cases, happened decades ago.
Accusers Auset Love and Joanne Schoonmaker allege abuse while they were students in the New York Public Schools.
"It is very painful for me to relive this abuse by standing here and telling my story," Love said but "I am willing to endure the pain in the hope that other children will never have to tell this kind of story when they grow up."
Love prasied New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature of New York for passing this Child Victims Act which gives her "the opportunity to come forward and seek justice against my abuser and those who have the responsibility to protect me from him."
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