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Ex-Catholic school coach accused of sexual abuse in 1960s

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An increasing number of lawsuits continue to surface as a result of New York’s Child Victim Rights, which extended the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases, allowing victims of decades-old cases to confront this issue and their abusers while seeking monetary reparations.

Among the latest cases involve a former Catholic gym teacher and coach, accused of molesting 21 boys in three different New York cities. The lawsuits — the earliest ones surfacing in November — claim that church officials of the Archdiocese of New York had knowledge of the abuse and continued to employ Edwin Gaynor, allowing him to coach at another Catholic school. A total of 18 of the lawsuits relate to incidents in Scarsdale, two in Hawthorne and one in White Plains.

Another Child Victims Act-related case

According to court documents, a victim at a Scarsdale school informed his mother, who encouraged him to tell the school’s clergy about the abuse. When the boy did so, the school’s Monsignor accused him of lying. After the boy then informed another priest, he received a letter of apology from Gaynor.

In handwritten notes provided to attorneys, the 85-year-old Gaynor acknowledged molesting two of the boys. A New York State Supreme Court judge has accepted the information as Gaynor’s formal response to the lawsuit and will allow a deposition of the former gym teacher to take place. The 85-year-old Gaynor does not have an attorney.

New York’s Child Victims Act had been extended for five months and is in effect through Jan. 14, 2021. However, the state legislature in May voted to extend the deadline even further to Aug. 14, 2021, in light of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to review the legislation.

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