NYC Judge Permits Anonymity in Sex Abuse Claims

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A New York City judge decided to permit anonymity for sex abuse claims. Child Victim Act cases will remain anonymous.

The decision was brought on Friday, prompted by a case from the Northeast Province of the Jesuit Brothers. It was argued whether the use of anonymity in at least three such cases would slow down the process for the accused.

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge George J. Silver did not accept the argument, stating that the identity of the accused person will only be hidden from the public, and not the defense. The judge remarked that keeping the identity private from the media will protect the victims from broadcasted exposure.

Hundreds of Child Victims Act cases filed were brought by anonymous plaintiffs; in most cases, people use their initials or a variation such as John Doe (Jane Doe).

Just in Albany, the high-profile Child Victim Act cases involve anonymous plaintiffs; two of the claims are accusing Howard Hubbard, a retired Albany Bishop. Hubbard was accused of sexually abusing children; the Bishop has denied the accusations.

Attorneys believe that anonymity is another attempt to shut down the victims, who may feel empowered to seek justice under the Child Victims Act.

The victims’ names will not be made public because such cases are quite sensitive. The anonymity will give the victims comfort while pursuing justice without being displayed all over the media.

Mike Gabriele, a spokesman for the Northeast Province of the Jesuit Brothers, refused to commend the decision, due to a policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Nearly 25% of girls and 15% of boys are sexually molested before they reach age sixteen.

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