Louis Gigante, a retired priest and former member of the New York City Council, was accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old child in a Bible study class in the 1970s.
According to records filed in Bronx County court, Gigante, whose brother was mafia leader Vincent “The Chin,” reportedly forced the child to perform oral sex in St. Athanasius Church in the Bronx.
According to The Bronx Times, “the Archdiocese knew or should have known that Father Gigante was sexually assaulting minors and/or had the tendency to do so.”
“The defendants Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church knew or should have known about the abuse that Mr. Doe and other young children were enduring at the hands of their clergy,” according to the complaint.
In the 1980s, Gigante was well recognised for his nonprofit housing complexes in the Hunt’s Point area.
The complaint was brought under the state’s 2019 Child Victims Act, which provides victims a window to file for prior allegations of sexual assault.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Curis law, told The Bronx Times that he believes the deadline for filing lawsuits under the Child Victims Act, which is set to expire on August 14, would be extended.
“We applaud any child sexual assault survivors who have come forwards to seek justice,” says the statement.
“It is sad that the August 14, 2021 deadline will soon pass, and we hope to New York State to enact new laws to eliminate time constraints, since the pain and suffering for these survivors will endure a lifetime.”