Monday, March 26, 2018

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Middletown native, abused by priest, lobbies to have “lookback window” opened

FISHKILL – A Middletown native, who was abused by a Catholic priest when he was between the ages of seven and 10, is calling on the New York Legislature to include in the state budget a “lookback window” that would allow anyone sexually abused years ago by a clergy person, coach or any other person in authority, to have one year to take legal action against them or their affiliated institution.

The measure has been on the table for some 10 years, but Lex Filipowski, 53, of Fishkill, who was abused by a Middletown priest, said Timothy Cardinal Dolan has spent over $2.5 million to lobby against the legislation, claiming it would be “toxic” for the church as it would open it up to lawsuits.

The New York Archdiocese did not respond to a request for comment about the lookback issue and Cardinal Dolan’s comments.

Filipowski said the time could not be better to change state law to allow the one-year window.

“With the Me Too movement having gained such awareness and momentum, it has now given extra sensitivity and support to helping to finally create a change in the statute in the statute of limitations for people who have been sexually assaulted and it has never been closer than now to being passed,” he said.

If the bill is passed, that is where “all of the cover-ups will be discovered,” Filipowski said. The sexually abuse that he and thousands of other children in New York is “toxic,” he said.

Filipowski said after California adopted a similar law, an additional 300 sexual predator pedophiles were uncovered.


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