Attorney for Sexual Abuse Victims of Father Joseph Byrns

No child expects that a priest or another member of the clergy had the ill intentions towards them. Many children are lured into scenarios where there are sexually abused because of clergy members that abuse their power. This issue could be made worse by organizations that fail to take action after receiving allegations of sexual abuse. If you or a family member was sexually abused by Father Joseph Byrns, contact an experienced New York sexual abuse attorney.

At Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP, we are devoted to helping survivors of sexual abuse seek the compensation they deserve for their injuries. You do not have to confront your sexual abuser alone. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 593-4056, or contact us online.

Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Byrns

Father Joseph Byrns was a priest that was ordained and worked for Diocese of Brooklyn. Father Byrns spent time working in various religious organizations across New York, such as St. Anastasia in Douglaston and St. Rose of Lima in Brooklyn.

While working at St. Anastasia in the 1960s and early 1970s, Father Byrns allegedly abused two brothers for years. These allegations arose in 2000 while one of the brothers worked as a priest with Father Byrns. In light of these allegations, the diocese placed Father Byrns on leave. In 2004, Father Byrns was again accused of repeatedly sexually abusing another child starting in 2000.

Despite these allegations, Father Byrns only served three years of probation for pleading guilty to child endangerment and was removed from the diocese in 2004.

If you were sexually abused by Father Byrns, you should speak with an experienced NYC sexual abuse lawyer today.

New York Child Victims Act for Sexual Abuse Claims

The New York Child Victims Act (CVA) was passed on February 14, 2019, by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The purpose of the CVA is to significantly extend the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits in New York. The statute of limitations allocates the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a certain type of lawsuit. Failure to file within the allotted timeframe means that a court would bar the plaintiff’s claim.

The CVA increases the statute of limitations for sexual abuse lawsuits until the victim of the abuse reaches the age of 55. Additionally, the CVA also permits a victim of abuse to pursue litigation against private and public institutions that were aware or should have been aware of an abuser’s actions and yet did nothing to prevent it.

Prior to the CVA, survivors of sexual abuse were held to a stringent statute of limitations deadlines. For example, a child that was abused would only have one year to file their claim against an abuser, and the case could only be pursued after the child reached the age of 18. Some accusers of Father Byrns were unable to file their claims against the priest due to a lapse of the statute of limitations. If a survivor of abuse wanted to file a lawsuit against an institution that allowed the abuse to occur, they would typically be granted about three years to file their claim.

The previous statute of limitation was problematic because every survivor of sexual abuse does not cope with their history of abuse in the same manner. This means that some children may not be aware that they were sexually abused or are simply not ready to share their experience with abuse with their family and friends. Additionally, if a survivor was abused while they were a child, they may not have been aware that the statute of limitations for their case began to run on their 18th birthday.

Fortunately, the CVA has also introduced a provision that aids survivors of sexual abuse that were unable to meet the previous strict statute of limitations filing deadline. Every survivor of sexual abuse in the State of New York is now entitled to file a civil sexual abuse lawsuit despite the expiration of the filing deadline for their lawsuit. If a sexual assault lawsuit was invalidated by the statute of limitations, the survivor of abuse now has a one-year window to file their claim. This one-year deadline began to run on August 14, 2019.

Additionally, prosecutors can also pursue felony criminal charges against an abuser until the victim reaches the age of 28.

Work with Our Experienced Brooklyn Sexual Assault Lawyers Today

If you or a family member was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Father Byrns, consult with an experienced Brooklyn sexual assault lawyer today. The legal team at Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP possess decades of combined legal experience, and we would be honored to use this knowledge to represent you. To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Sullivan & Galleshaw, LLP at (718) 593-4056.


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