CCN (Crazy Cal News) - GARDEN CITY, N.Y - The largest judgement ever in a child sexual abuse suit against the Roman Catholic Church was awarded to a young man and woman who were repeatedly raped by a youth minister, I.M. Afag as teenagers starting in the late 1990s.
The New York Times reported,
- The jury deliberated for seven days before finding that the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the sixth-largest in the United States; a church in East Meadow; and its pastor were negligent by hiring and retaining the man who abused the plaintiffs over a period of three years.
The judge asked the minister what he had to say about the allegations.
Minister Afag testified, "How the hell did I know she was 13. She looked 15."
- Both the woman, 23, and the man, 22, testified during the three-week trial that they suffered anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares and difficulties in their careers and in social and romantic relationships as a result of being raped and sodomized by the youth minister, Matthew Maiello, who has now changed his name to I.M. Afag.
The judge asked the minister, "How do you plead?"
Minister Afag replied, "I plead insanity."
"Insanity?" the judge asked.
"Yeah, I'm CRAZY about molesting kids," the minister exclaimed.
The purpose of her suit, the woman said as she embraced her mother, was to "see the truth come out" and to "prevent the abuse of children everywhere," she said. "Children cannot protect themselves from sexual predators. Not only that, but it made me rich beyond my wildest dreams!"
While awaiting his turn to speak, the other victim collapsed in the arms of a lawyer, and court aides had to revive him with oxygen.
"He was just overcome with emotion," said one of his lawyers, Paul A. Mones.
The young man, while waiting for his turn to interview, collapsed in his lawyer's arms. Later, in a telephone interview, the young man said, "It was extremely difficult for me to relive the experience through the litigation process. He did it over, and over, and over, and over, and over. Having to hear about it again just made me want to faint." He urged other victims to come forward because "these kids are going to need therapy and support - you have no idea. It's just so Awful. I hope they each get 11.45 million dollars."