Over 20 adult victims of child sex abuse by Catholic Priests have filed lawsuits under the Child Victims Act, which is an Act that allows victims to sue no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. These lawsuits claim abuse by several Catholic priests in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, which includes the North Country.
For the first time, there are 7 priests named, who worked during periods spanning between 1961- 1989, including clerics who served in Malone, Dannemora, Lowville, Massena, Schroon Lake, Parishville, Potsdam, and Crown Point. Three other priests are also named as the subjects of prior lawsuits.
TheDiocese of Ogdensburg announced that it was exploring bankruptcy, as it has dozens of sexual assault claims against them.
It is important to note that the window for the Child victims Act is set to expire in August, but was extended until January due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The accused Priests are listed as:
- Monsignor John F. Pendergast, at St. Mary in Massena, NY
- Father Donald E. Seguin, at Sacred Heart in Crown Point, NY
- Father George A. Fontaine, at Our Lady of Lourdes in Schroon Lake, NY
- Monsignor F. Gordon Coseo, at Notre Dame in Malone, NY
- Father Joseph W. Elliott, at St. Michael in Parishville, NY and St. Mary in Potsdam, NY
- Father Frank M. Kearns, at St. Joseph in Dannemora, NY
- Monsignor Joseph F. Luker, at St. Peter in Lowville, NY