A dozen women who attended the New York School of the Deaf in Westchester decades ago are alleging sexual abuse by a man who supervised their dorm.
The 12 filed a lawsuit on Wednesday morning, Oct. 16 in New York State Supreme Court in Westchester County, according to The New York Times.
It is alleged that Joseph Casucci, a member of the supervisory staff of the school, also called Fanwood and located in White Plains, sexually abused students while they were at the school between 1965 and 1975, with at least one accuser claiming that she was abused beginning when she was 4 years old.
Casucci and his wife lived in an apartment adjacent to the dorm where his accusers lived during the school week. He is accused of kissing the young girls, fondling them and getting aroused when they sat on his lap.
Casucci has since died, and was dismissed from his position with the school four decades ago after school officials received the complaints of sexual abuse.
School officials are expected to issue a statement on Wednesday following the announcement of the lawsuit.
On Aug. 14, a provision of New York’s Child Victims Act took effect, making the start of the one-year period when alleged victims can file claims against alleged abusers and institutions that protected them, no matter how long ago the abuse may have occurred.
Victims of sexual abuse in New York previously were required to file any civil lawsuits before they turned 23. Under the new law, anyone under the age of 55 can file a lawsuit, and during the one-year window, older victims can also make claims.
“The revived Child Victims Act cases are critically important cases, raising numerous challenging legal issues that must be adjudicated as consistently and expeditiously as possible across the state,” New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks said. “We are fully committed to providing appropriate and sufficient resources to achieve that goal.”
The one-year window where the statute of limitations will be lifted on these cases in New York ends on Aug. 14, 2020.
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