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Ex-Chaminade student claims abuse by official

Chaminade High School is seen in this undated

Chaminade High School is seen in this undated photo.

A former student at the prestigious Chaminade High School has alleged he was sexually abused by a school official on the Mineola campus nearly 50 years ago, the district attorney’s office confirmed Monday.

The alleged victim, now a 62-year-old Manhattan resident, wrote in a letter dated April 18 to Chaminade principal Joseph Dominick Bellizzi that he was abused by a communications supervisor at the all-boys Catholic school beginning in the fall of 1970 until his graduation in June 1971, according to a copy of the letter the victim provided to Newsday.

The school on Monday confirmed receiving the victim’s letter and said the allegations were forwarded to the Nassau District Attorney’s office.

“As with any allegations of this kind, we forwarded all relevant information to law enforcement upon receipt,” said Brother Thomas Cleary, president of Chaminade.

Brendan Brosh, a district attorney’s spokesman, on Monday confirmed the office received a letter reporting the claims from Chaminade’s attorneys on April 21. Brosh declined to say whether the district attorney’s office would investigate, or whether the allegations appeared credible.

The statute of limitations has long expired on the alleged crimes, preventing a prosecution, Brosh said.

The new claims are the second abuse accusations that Nassau authorities have recently received alleging students were sexually abused at Chaminade.

Newsday reported Saturday that allegations of sex abuse of a student in 2011 by the Rev. James Williams, a former Chaminade president, were deemed “credible” by the Marianist order that runs Chaminade.

Brosh said the statute of limitations had also expired on those alleged crimes.

Newsday is not identifying the victim in the newly reported case, nor the alleged offender.

In his letter to the principal, the Manhattan resident details the abuse, which he said occured at least once each week during the school year, though “sometimes more.”

It had a devastating effect on his life, he wrote, saying he dropped out of college and struggled with compulsive spending, drugs and pornography addictions.

“My life has been an agonizing ordeal of self-hatred, shame, disappointment and failure,” he wrote, adding: “What happened to me cannot be undone, nor can the life I might have had be given back to me and my family. I do know, however, that the institutions that allowed this to occur must somehow take responsibility for it now.”

The victim also claims in the letter that he was once abused at the same school official’s Sayville home. Chaminade said it forwarded those allegations to the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.

Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney’s office said he could not immediately confirm whether his office had received that complaint from Chaminade’s attorneys.

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