Child Victims Act: Should names of accusers seeking damages remain out of public view?

Western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Child Victims Act will go into effect next week. The law provides a one-year window for sexual abuse victims to file civil lawsuits.

Lawyers expect more than 100 civil cases to be filed against priests and the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, but the names of the accusers could be kept hidden from the public if a new request is granted by the courts.

Steve Boyd, who represents several victims, filed a request to use pseudonyms or fake names for the alleged victims in these cases. He says this is an effort to keep clients safe.

“If their name were to get out, someone were to say something to them at work or in their neighborhood, some of these people haven’t even told their mothers and fathers or their spouses,” Boyd said. “We want to be able to give our clients a safe way to get justice but to do it in a way that won’t endanger them.”

Boyd says this request was talked about by lawyers on both sides. He says this is just a request to the courts, but if it’s denied, he believes fewer victims will come forward.

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