Catholic Teacher Accused of Boy's Molestation
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - The director of religious education at a church in Brooklyn was a known child abuser who molested a boy in his care, the alleged victim claims in court.
The plaintiff says his sexual abuse occurred while he was enrolled in after-school CCD program at St. Lucy's - St. Patrick's Church in 2008 and 2009.
The Catholic Church administers the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, also known as catechism or CCD, to public school children who would otherwise not have religious education.
The boy's alleged attacker, Angelo Serrano, is described in the complaint as a volunteer for the Brooklyn diocese and director of religious education at St. Lucy's - St. Patrick's.
The Revs. Frank Shannon and Stephen Lynch were responsible for hiring Serrano, according to the complaint in King's County Superior Court.
The boy says Serrano "had been convicted of crimes" and "was a known sexual abuser of children" prior to the molestation described in the complaint.
From Sept. 1, 2008, to Sept. 24, 2009, Serrano exploited his position at the school to begin "grooming" the boy "as part of his plan to sexually molest and abuse him," the complaint states.
The boy says his sexual abuse and molestation occurred between those dates on church property and at Serrano's home.
The boy was allegedly one of several children who slept over at Serrano's home and was sexually abused there.
Serrano pleaded guilty in March 2011 to "attempted course of sexual conduct in the first degree as to infant plaintiff," according to the complaint.
The boy says the abuse and the church's negligence have left him with "physical and psychological injuries, including ... anger, depression ... and loss of faith."
The boy seeks punitive damages. He sued along with his mother. They are represented by Peter Saghir in Manhattan.