40-Year-Old Woman Claims Former Archbishop Sexually Abused Her When She Was 5

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A woman has filed a lawsuit against A former archbishop from Newark, New Jersey for sexually abusing her when she was a child, according to the New York Post.

The woman, now in her 40s, alleges that Peter Gerety sexually abused her in the 1970s when she was 5 years old after bringing her family food when they were hungry in the lawsuit, the New York Post reported. The lawsuit is the first allegation of sexual abuse against Garety, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 104, the New York Post reported. The New York Post noted that at the time of his death, Gerety was the oldest Catholic bishop in the world.

Gerety, the plaintiff claims, told her she was “such a smart and pretty young girl,” before he sexually abused her upwards of three times in the church rectory, according to the New York Post. The woman claimed she told her sister about the abuse when she was in her teens.

“I have suffered from extreme difficulty navigating intimate relationships, and I continue to experience bouts of anger, as well as difficulties when involved in relationships and attempting to be intimate in the context of these relationships,” the plaintiff wrote in an affidavit, according to the New York Post. The woman also said she still has to take medication to treat her anxiety and depression stemming from the abuse.

John Baldante, the lawyer representing the woman in this case, said “This case is indicative of how systemic and pervasive the sexual abuse of children was, and remains to this day, in the Catholic church,” according to the New York Post.

A spokesperson from the Newark archdiocese told the New York Post that it was committed to resolving allegations and help victims get closure, but did not give comment on this specific case. (RELATED: New York State Sues Diocese Of Buffalo Over Alleged Sex Abuse Cover Up)

The woman is seeking $50 million along with additional unspecified damages from Gerety’s estate, the church, and other unnamed individuals and entities, the New York Post reported.

The names of nearly 200 priests accused of sexually and physically abusing children were released by Catholic officials in New Jersey in 2019, according to the New York Post. The New York Post claimed that more than $3 billion has been dolled out by the church to settle lawsuits regarding abuse at the hands of church officials.

Baldante did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.