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Long IslandSuffolk

Rev. Gregory Yacyshun to face sexual abuse lawsuit, judge rules

A state Supreme Court justice is allowing a lawsuit filed by a 21-year-old Long Island woman alleging she was abused by a priest 12 years ago to proceed despite it being filed after a statute of limitations had expired.

But the judge also sided with the church and priest, and rejected some arguments, according to the decision.

Justice Dana Winslow dismissed some of the causes of action against the diocese and priest, the Rev. Gregory Yacyshun, who the plaintiff claims abused her in 2003, when she was 8 years old and he was at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Greenlawn.

She filed the claim in January, when she was 20 years old.

But the court rejected the priest’s claims that too much time had passed for her case to be heard in court, an argument based on state law that requires lawsuits seeking redress for “intentional conduct” to be filed within a year of the event.

In dismissing the argument that too much time had passed, Winslow relied on a law adopted into the penal code in 2006 that allows victims of sexual abuse to file claims within five years of the occurrence. The judge also stated that the clock started ticking when the alleged victim reached her 18th birthday in 2013.

“The allegation that Fr. Yacyshun ‘engaged in unpermitted and harmful sexual contact with Plaintiff’ is sufficient to invoke the five-year statute of limitations. . . . Under the circumstances, the Court finds that the complaint against Fr. Yacyshun is not time-barred,” the judge wrote.

Winslow rejected as redundant the claim that the church and priest had caused negligent infliction of emotional distress, because that claim was similar to the plaintiff’s cause of action alleging negligence, the cause of action that he allowed to go forward despite the time lapse.

Winslow also rejected a cause of action that the church engaged in deceptive business practices, but let stand the cause of action that the church harmed her and caused a “public nuisance.”

Attorneys for the parties in the case could not be reached for comment.

Winslow gave the plaintiff until Jan. 18 to file an amended complaint.

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