New York man files complaint for alleged sexual abuse in foster care

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A New York man was sexually assaulted by four people in the foster care system starting as a child – and now he’s seeking justice, according to two new lawsuits.

Lamont Wilder, a 47-year-old barber from the Bronx, told The Post how he bounced back into foster homes until he was 21.

During this time, he was allegedly sexually assaulted by two foster parents, the husband of a woman who looked after him on weekends while he was in a home for children in difficulty, and by a carer from this outbreak, according to two lawsuits from the Bronx. he filed a complaint against various foster care agencies.

Wilder, who is suing for unspecified damages, blames his attackers as well as the agencies, saying the attacks began when he was 4, when he was so vulnerable.

“They should know who works for them,” Wilder told The Post of foster placement agencies. “It’s easy to handle a child in a situation like this.”

Wilder told the Post by phone that his birth parents were very young, had substance abuse issues and were largely absent from his life – that’s how he ended up in the foster care system as he was only a few weeks old in 1974.

Wilder claims the abuse started when he was 4 and came from four separate people.
Wilder claims the abuse started when he was 4 and came from four separate people.
James messerschmidt

Wilder was first abused by an adoptive father while living at the man’s home in the Bronx, and the abuse continued on several occasions until he was transferred in 1979, according to reports. court documents.

A New York agency placed Wilder in two foster homes in Minnesota, where he was sexually assaulted by a foster mother in the Second Home, court documents show. He spent four months in a mental institution in 1981 after lighting fires twice – “a classic symptom of sexual abuse,” according to the lawsuit.

Then from 1982 to 1985, Wilder lived at the Astor Home for Children in Rhineback, upstate New York – run by the Catholic Church – and was sexually assaulted by a staff member there, as well as the husband of a woman who took Wilder out on weekends. , allege court documents.

Wilder filed his lawsuits against the agencies under the New York Child Victims Act.
Wilder filed his lawsuits against the agencies under the New York Child Victims Act.
James messerschmidt

Wilder’s lawsuits – one filed last week and one filed Monday – seek to hold accountable those who ran foster care programs, including New York City’s Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services, Inc., Evolve Adoption & Family Services – used to be called Crossroads – Archdiocese of New York and Astor Home for Children.

Wilder claims the defendants were negligent in protecting Wilder and checking out those responsible for his care.

Wilder says the abuse left him with lifelong emotional effects and he ended up living in the homeless shelter system every now and then in his life.

“I have very, very serious issues with trusting and bonding with people,” Wilder said. “I still suffer from a lot of depression because of this.

“I don’t want to see other young men and women go through this because it’s crippling,” Wilder said. “I’m still affected by it, and I’m 47 years old.”

Wilder’s attorney, Mark Shirian, said in a statement: “I applaud my client, who bravely pursued justice by sharing his story of abuse to prevent this tragedy from happening to other children. and unsuspecting families.

“It is time to hold these entities to account, and we will pursue these lawsuits vigorously in order to obtain justice,” said Shirian.

Wilder claims his abuse took place at a Minnesota foster home and Astor Home for Children in Rhineback, New York.
Wilder claims his abuse took place at Minnesota foster homes and Astor Home for Children in Rhineback, New York.
James messerschmidt

Wilder has brought an action under New York’s Child Victims’ Act, which allows alleged victims of child abuse to file old claims that have not been subject to the statute of limitations. The retrospection period is expected to end on August 14.

Archdiocese representative Joseph Zwilling said in a statement, “The Archdiocese of New York takes every allegation of sexual abuse seriously and responds with compassion and respect. However, we cannot comment on the specific prosecutions brought under the Child Victims Act. “

A spokesperson for the city’s legal department said, “We will review the lawsuit when we are served.”

Astor Home, Sheltering Arms and Evolve did not return requests for comment.

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