Law firm releases list of 65 LI clergy members accused of sex abuse

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Jeff Anderson & Associates, a law firm that represents and investigates child sexual abuse claims, released Monday a list of 65 people within the Diocese of Rockville Centre who are accused of sexual misconduct.

Attorney Jeff Anderson says his office has compiled the list from publicly released information.

Anderson added to that list Father George Hein, who served at the Holy Name of Mary Church in Valley Stream from 1967 to '70.

Anderson believes there are scores more priests that the diocese is hiding. He says all other diocese in New York state have released information, but not Rockville Centre.

"Because where they worked and where they taught and where they acted as priests and accused perpetrators also needs to be known," Anderson says. "So we invite, we implore, we beg and demand the bishop step up into the light and tell the truth."

In a statement to News 12, the Diocese of Rockville Centre says police have the names of all accused clergy members in the diocese, but it would not release that information publicly: "At this time, the Diocese believes that while the investigations of claims and allegations are ongoing, it is premature to release a list of accused clergy."

Steven Werner stood with the attorneys and activists at Monday's news conference. He says the pain of being sexually abused by a pastor at his St. James church is still difficult to comprehend.

"No one from the church has ever called me to say, 'I'm sorry for what happened,'" Werner says. "We have to have truth and we have to have transparency to help the survivors and to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Some parishioners say they believe the diocese is handling the sexual abuse claims well, but that more transparency is always a good thing.

New York's Child Victims Act, which extends the statute of limitations for abuse victims, goes into effect this summer.

Read more:
LI Catholic deacon accused of decades-old sex abuse
Advocates call for release of Diocese of Rockville Centre list of accused clergy
New York Archdiocese names 120 priests accused of sex abuse
Law firm: 12 Boy Scout leaders from LI among 130 in NY accused of abuse
Cuomo signs Child Victims Act into law

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