On Sept. 21, the New York State Court of Appeals declined to hear an appeal of a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against the Diocese of Rochester and Robert O’Neill, a former diocesan priest accused of sexual abuse.
The court made no comment as to why it made its decision.
In May 2003, State Supreme Court Justice Robert Lunn ruled in Rochester that the applicable statute of limitations had expired for the 10 plaintiffs, who were seeking unspecified damages.
O’Neill retired in 2001. Bishop Matthew H. Clark removed him from all ministry on May 2, 2002, due to allegations that O’Neill had committed sexual abuse in the past.
Doug Mandelaro, diocesan spokesman, urged victims of sexual abuse to contact the diocese for assistance.
“As always, we urge that any person who has been a victim of abuse by a person working for the church to call our victims’ advocates so that we can provide help and guidance,” Mandelaro said. The advocates are Barbara Pedeville, who may be reached at 585/328-3228, ext. 1215, or Father Robert Ring, who may be reached at 315/730-0882.”