Sep 19, 2018 / 09:53 am
The Diocese of Brooklyn and an after-school program reached a $27.5 million settlement Tuesday with four men who were sexually abused as minors by a layman who volunteered at a parish in the New York City borough.
The men were abused between 2003 and 2009 by Angelo Serrano, 67, who taught catechism and helped to organized religious education at St. Lucy – St. Patrick's parish in Brooklyn. Serrano abused the boys, who were between the ages of 8 and 12, at the church, in his apartment, and at the after-school program. Serrano received a stipend from the church, and had a desk there.
“The diocese and another defendant have settled these lawsuits brought by the four claimants who were sexually abused by Angelo Serrano at his private apartment many years ago,” the Brooklyn diocese said in a Sept. 18 statement, the New York Times reported. “Mr. Serrano was a volunteer worker at a local parish; he was not clergy or an employee of the diocese or parish.”
A portion of the settlement is being paid by the Dorothy Bennett Mercy Center, an after-school program located next to the parish.
Serrano was arrested in 2009, and is now serving a 15-year sentence.
A suit against the diocese was set to go to trial next year, had the diocese not settled.
The victims' suit listed the then-pastors of St. Lucy – St. Patrick's, Fr. Stephen P. Lynch and Fr. Frank Shannon, as co-defendants.
According to the New York Times, a judge wrote that “The record is clear that Lynch and Shannon had knowledge that for years Serrano often had several boys, including plaintiff, sleep over at his apartment … In fact, both Lynch and Shannon testified that they visited Serrano on numerous occasions when young boys were present.”