Author: Adam Horowitz, Attorney

Diocese of Allentown Horowitz Law

Diocese of Allentown Begins Program to Compensate Sexual Abuse Victims

What You Need to Know About the Diocese of Allentown Compensation Program for Sexual Abuse Victims

The Diocese of Allentown has just announced the details concerning its compensation program for victims of sexual abuse by priests of the Diocese of Allentown. The program will compensation victims of abuse by Diocese of Allentown priests as well as religious order priests with ties to the Diocese.  All claims must be registered and then a Claims Form with supporting documentation must be submitted.  The deadline for submitting claims to the compensation fund is September 30, 2019 so it is important that you act quickly.  All claims will be individually evaluated by a third-party administrator to determine the eligibility and amount of the award.

Horowitz Law has reviewed countless public records, court files, news article, police reports, website and other public documents to prepare the most extensive list available anywhere of accused clergy in the Diocese of Diocese of Allentown. The complete list of Diocese of Allentown clergy accused of sexual abuse can be found here.

Sadly, the Diocese of Allentown has been home to some of the most notorious priests alleged to have committed child sexual abuse. Thanks to a recent scathing grand jury report, the facts are now coming to light about how the Diocese officials, including its bishops, protected predator priests before the innocent children in its flock.  Victims of abuse by priests in the Diocese of Allentown may be able to seek justice in a court of law or through a voluntary settlement fund for what occurred.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Allentown through the newly-created compensation fund for victims.  If you want speak with a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Allentown may have legal options, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

NICHOLAI ANTHONY BRIEF Horowitz Law

Mental Health Caretaker With Troubling Legal History Arrested for Molesting Elderly and Disabled Patients

Nicholai Brief, a 34 year old employee of a mental health facility, has been arrested in Pinellas County, Florida on charges he molested three adult female patients beginning in October 2018 and continuing through February 2019.  These incidents are reported to have occurred while Nicholai Brief was working as a tech at Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services (PEMHS) in Pinellas Park.  He began working for PEMHS in summer 2018.

According to law enforcement records, Brief grabbed the breasts of two women and the genitals of a third woman.  In one case, he alleged to have pushed a female patient into a dark room and touched her genitals.  “You’re not going to tell anyone are you,” Brief is alleged to have said to another patient, after he went into that patient’s room while she was sleeping and groped her breasts.  Brief also used Facebook Messenger to ask another victim for sexually explicit photos. He entered that victim’s room and grabbed her breasts, according to the documents.

Brief faces one charge of felony sexual battery and multiple charges for lewd and lascivious molestation of an elderly or disabled person.  Upon questioning by law enforcement, Brief denied sexual contact but admitted that he asked a patient to expose herself.  Brief was in a position of trust and authority over all of his alleged victims.  Each of the women lacked the lacked the ability to consent due to diminished mental capacity or failed to give consent according to law enforcement. PEMHS in a non-profit facility in the Tampa-area that treats people suffering from mental health issues.

This is not Nicholai Brief’s first run-in with the law in Florida. He was “Baker Acted” in Pasco County in 20165 as a result of comments he made on Facebook threatening to harm himself and others.  Court documents from the case note he suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his service in the United States Army.  Brief was also arrested for misdemeanor disorderly conduct in 2015 in connection with his employment at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.  Additionally, Brief was arrested in 2016 on a felony charge of domestic battery by strangulation and tampering with a witness.  Both charges were later dropped.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted by a doctor or other healthcare employee at a doctor’s office or healthcare facility, it is important to have experienced legal counsel.  We are experienced in handling cases on behalf of victims involving sexual assault by doctors and other healthcare workers.  If you have a been a victim of sexual assault by a doctor in a hospital or medical office, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

 

 

 

Diocese of Harrisburg logo - Horowitz Law

Diocese of Harrisburg Reverses Course and Broadens its Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Fund

The Diocese of Harrisburg announced today that it will be waiving a critical eligibility requirement of its victim compensation fund.  The program previously required that persons seeking compensation must have previously identified themselves as victims of clergy sexual abuse to the Diocese before February 11, 2019.  This requirement has been removed.  This announcement by Bishop Ronald Gainer of the Diocese is a dramatic change in the program as many abuse claimants might have otherwise been deemed ineligible.

This announcement places the Diocese of Harrisburg compensation program in line with other diocesan programs in Pennsylvania.  Under the new program rules, abuse survivors who have not previously come forward to the Diocese of Harrisburg are eligible for compensation through the victims’ fund program.

The claims period will run from February 12 to May 13, 2019.  Claims filed after that date will be denied.  Therefore, it is important to promptly contact a lawyer who has experience handling sexual abuse claims against the Diocese of Harrisburg to ensure your claim (including all supporting documents) are timely filed.

In order to be eligible for the program, the claimant must have been a victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18 by a a priest, deacon, or seminarian of the diocese; or the allegation is against a priest or deacon from another diocese who had faculties in the diocese at the time of the abuse; or the allegation is against a priest or brother from a religious order who had faculties in the diocese at the time of the abuse.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, deacons, seminarians and other clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a member of the clergy in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

ocese of rochester - horowitz law

Is the Diocese of Rochester (New York) Planning to File for Bankruptcy Due to Sex Abuse Liability?

The Diocese of Rochester abruptly canceled its voluntary program to compensate victims of child sexual abuse by its clergy.  This will not affect claims previously submitted.  But this sudden decision could mean more lawsuits being will filed by victims.  Although the Diocese of Rochester publicly says its decision is the result of the recent passage of the Child Victims Act eliminating the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases, this appears to be a dubious explanation as the defense of lawsuits is typically viewed to be as more costly for a defendant than a compensation program.  Instead, the Diocese of Rochester’s decision is fueling explanation of a future Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing by the Diocese of Rochester.  Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano of the Diocese of Rochester has not publicly commented on the decision or the possibility of a bankruptcy filing.

According to published reports, the Diocese of Rochester’s compensation program has received thirty submissions.  But the total number of child sex abuse victims in the Diocese of Rochester is expected to be much higher than that as there are over thirty former priests of the Diocese of Rochester who have been public accused of child sexual abuse:  Father David L. Bonin; Thomas W. Burr; Albert H. Cason; Bernard Casper; Paul Cloonan; Thomas Corbett; John Costello; Eugene Emo; Robert Gaudio; John Gormley; David Gramkee; Gerard Guli; Robert Hammond; John Heathwood; G. Stuart Hogan; Joseph E. Larrabee; William D. Lum; Charles J. McCarthy; Robert F. O’Neill; Richard J. Orlando; Vincent Panepinto; Foster P. Rogers; Paul R. Schnacky; Dennis R. Sewar; Dennis J. Shaw; Gary P. Shaw; David P. Simon; John J. Steger; Conrad Sundholm; Thomas J. Valenti; Francis H. Vogt; Michael Volino; and Robert J. Winkerton.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Rochester.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Rochester now have legal options to file a lawsuit against the Diocese of Rochester.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

John-Allen-Harrisburg-205x300 Horowitz Law

Former Priest John G. Allen of Diocese of Harrisburg Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges

John G. Allen, a 75 year old defrocked priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, was arrested this morning on charges that he molested two altar boys between 1997 and 2002.  According to the criminal complaint, Allen abused the abused the victims while they served as altar boys at St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church in Harrisburg.  Allen had been removed from the ministry by the Diocese of Harrisburg in 2002.  Allen was defrocked in 2006, four years after the Diocese received a “credible allegation” that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor in 1979.

John G. Allen served in multiple Diocese of Harrisburg parishes, including locations in Lebanon, Gettysburg, Selinsgrove, New Cumberland, Steelton, Lancaster and Harrisburg.  He is facing four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.   For a full profile on Father John G. Allen, see this link:

Profile on John G. Allen

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg may have legal options against the Diocese of Harrisburg.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Former Boca Raton Priest John Sutton On List of Priests “Credibly Accused” of Abusing Minors

John Sutton, a former Catholic priest who served for a time at Saint Joan of Arc in Boca Raton, Florida is included by the Diocese of Paterson (New Jersey) in its list of 28 priests who have been “credibly accused” of illegal sexual abuse involving minors.

John Sutton was born in 1943 and ordained in 1970.  Sutton served in the following assignments in the Diocese of Paterson:

  • St. Andrew (Clifton, NJ)
  • St. Agnes (Paterson, NJ)
  • Chaplain, St. Joseph Hospital
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Swartswood, NJ)
  • St. Patrick (Chatham, NJ)

Sutton also took a leave of absence for unspecified reasons in 1979.  Years later, he requested to be transferred to the Diocese of Palm Beach.  The transfer was granted by the Bishop in Patterson and Susan was eventually incardinated in the Diocese of Palm Beach in January 2000 where he remained for the duration of his priesthood until his passing in August 2000.   The Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey says it investigated the abuse claim involving Father Sutton in 2005, along with their local prosecutor’s office, and found the accusation to be credible.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Paterson in New Jersey.  Although the Diocese of Paterson has identified 28 priests accused of abuse, Horowitz Law has 41 priests publicly accused in the Diocese of Paterson.

If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Paterson now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

Diocese of Rockville Phase 3

What Are the Details on Phase III of Diocese of Rockville Centre Clergy Abuse Compensation Program

The Diocese of Rockville Centre’s program to compensate sexual abuse victims has been expanded to include claims against Religious Order priests and nuns who were affiliated with the Diocese of Rockville Centre through its schools, parishes, or charitable agencies.  Previously, the program was limited to abuse by Diocesan Priests.  This system was unfair because it arbitrarily excluded large number of victims, including those abuse by Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines, Maryknoll Fathers, Paulists, Salesians, Redemptorists and Oblates among many other Religious Orders.

The deadline to register for the Diocese of Rockville Centre program is March 31, 2019. All claims must be registered to be considered for eligibility. The deadline to submit a claim is May 31, 2019.  Note that the program is completely options.  Certain victims may wish to pursue their remedies under New York’s Child Victim Act.  Of course, you can register for Phase III of the compensation program, receive an offer, and then decide whether to accept or file a lawsuit.

Horowitz Law represents victims of clergy sexual abuse in Phase III of the Diocese of Rockville Centre program.  In light of the approaching deadlines, contact us today at (954) 641-2100 or via e-mail at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com if you wish to participate in Phase III of the Diocese of Rockville Centre compensation program.  A properly submitted claim may include: sacrament records, school transcripts, photographs, medical records, and/or witness statements.  As these document may take significant time to assemble, it is important that you and your legal counsel begin this process as soon as possible.

 

Title New Jersey abuse. Horowitz Law

What You Need to Know About New Jersey Catholic Diocese Victim Compensation Program

All five of the Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey have created a unified compensation fund to provide money to people who were sexually abused as children by their clergy.  Victims will be eligible for the funds regardless of whether the statute of limitations has passed on their ability to file a lawsuit against the Diocese or priests.  Payouts will be determined by fund administrators based in part on the extent and duration of the abuse, the nature of the abuse, age of the victim, the impact on the victim’s life, and whether drugs and alcohol were a factor.

The program’s start and finish date have not yet been announced.  Contact Horowitz law today for additional details on how to bring a compensation claim.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide.  We have handled similar fund claims in New York and Pennsylvania. Contact us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com or (954) 641-2100 to discuss your options today with a lawyer regarding how to bring a claim in the New Jersey Dioceses compensation fund program.

Some clergy abuse victims praised the opportunity to receive compensation while others view the funds as a public relations tool by the Diocese Bishops to quash legislation that would older victims of abuse an opportunity to file lawsuit on time-barred claims.  Unlike the clams process, a lawsuit would potentially yield answers to questions about the priest’s history of abuse and the role that Bishops and other Diocese officials played in allowing such abuse to occur.

The Dioceses’ announcement comes at a critical juncture for the Catholic church as lawmakers will be deciding in the upcoming session whether whether to temporarily remove the state’s civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse.  Such a change could potentially be financially destructive to the Church and result in public gaining access to church records concerning abusive priests that have been held in secrecy for decades

The five Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey are the Archdiocese of Newark, Diocese of Camden, Diocese of Trenton, Diocese of Paterson, and Diocese of Metuchen.  Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in New Jersey now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

Diocese of Erie Horowitz Law

Diocese of Erie Compensation Program For Abuse Victims Open February 15

The claims period for victims of clergy sexual abuse seeking compensation in the Diocese of Erie will begin February 15, 2019 and continue for a six-month period through August 15, 2019.  Now is the time to act if you wish to pursue such a claim for sexual abuse by a priest.  Horowitz Law has assembled the most comprehensive list available anywhere of clergy abuse of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Erie.  It is an excellent resource if you are looking a particular priest’s history within the Diocese of Erie and whether other abuse allegations have been publicly lodged about the priest.

Sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz is representing clients in this program right now and registering them for their claims to be evaluated for compensation.  The compensation fund is being administered by Ken Feinberg, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and expert on compensation funds. Feinberg handled the compensation fund for 9/11 victims and similar compensation funds for Dioceses in New York and Pennsylvania.

For decades, the Catholic Church has been plagued by the scandal of clergy sexual abuse by clergy.  An extraordinary number of people with improper sexual impulses seem to have made their way into the priesthood in the Catholic Church. Sadly, the Diocese of Erie in its history has been plagued by many of the same issues  Some of the more notorious perpetrators in the Diocese of Erie include priests Chester “Chet” Gawronski, Michael Barletta, David Paulson, Salvatore Luzzi, Gerard Krebs, Joseph Jerge, Samuel Slocum, and David Dobrowolski, among many others.

“This is something owed to victims,” said Bishop Persico of the Diocese of Erie. “They were harmed by church leaders and people who worked for the church. This is a matter of justice.”  Letters will be going out this week to victims who are already known to the Diocese through prior reports.  However, a prior report by the victim to the Diocese is not a requirement to be eligible for the program.  Those who do not receive letters can still file claims.  The Diocese of Erie includes nearly two hundred fifty thousand Catholics residing in thirteen counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania.. The thirteen counties are Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Erie, Forest, Warren, Clarion, Crawford, Mercer, and Venago.

Charles Aguon - Horowitz Law

Headmaster of Kingdom Preparatory School Arrested for Molestation of Student

Charles Felipe Aguon II, the 34-year old headmaster at Kingdom Preparatory private school in Auburndale, is facing criminal charges of molesting a 15-year old male student.  Aguon is an ordained minister and also works at the school as football coach and seventh/eighth grade teacher.  Aguon reportedly met the boy at school and is alleged to have had sexual contact with the boy off campus at his home in Davenport, Florida in November and December 2018.

During a phone call monitored by law enforcement between Aguon and the boy, the teen told Aguon he felt uncomfortable and did not like when Aguon kissed and touched him.  Aguon then asked the boy, “Oh, the loving on you?”  After the teen said he didn’t like it when Aguon touched his private parts, kissed him and bit his lip, Aguon then said, “You know I was only messing with you,” according to the arrest affidavit. After being arrested at Kingdom Preparatory School, Aguon admitted to kissing the boy and fondling him over the clothes.  He further told detectives that he knew his behavior was inappropriate and that he should not have done it.

According to law enforcement records from the Polk County Sheriff’s office, Aguon and the boy “dry humped” to simulate having sex with their clothes on.  Aguon also allegedly fondled the boy’s genitals over and under the clothes, kissed the boy, and taught him how to shave his private parts.  Law enforcement expressed concern that there may be other victims.  Aguon lives in Davenport with three other men who are teachers at the school.  He was known affectionately by the students as “Pastor Tiger”.  Aguon also served as a football coach and as an associate pastor at Miracle Tabernacle of Praise, which is affiliated with Kingdom Prep.

Horowitz Law is a Florida law firm representing children who have been sexually abused by clergymen and school officials. If you or someone you know has been sexually abused by someone affiliated with a church or school, please contact our office by calling 954-641-2000 or via e-mail at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com