Dobbs Ferry News
Local News
Top News

Former Children’s Village Residents Allege Sexual, Physical Abuse

• Bookmarks: 53


October 28, 2020

By Rick Pezzullo

 Ten former residents of The Children’s Village residential treatment center in Dobbs Ferry have taken legal action, accusing staff, administrators and older residents at the home for troubled boys of sexual and physical abuse over a 25-year period.

The victims, who were all emotionally disturbed young boys when they were placed at the Children’s Village by courts or child welfare agencies, allege in lawsuits they were physically brutalized, raped, and humiliated by older residents, while similar sexual abuse was perpetrated by staff, including teacher aides, counsellors, and a former executive director.

When the boys complained to social workers or other staff about the physical and sexual abuse, they allege were either ignored or threatened with violence.

“These children were typically brought to The Children’s Village to remove them from abusive or neglectful conditions in their families’ homes with the goal of healing their traumas. Instead, their victimization continued and escalated to horrifying proportions,” said attorney Robert Greenstein of Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP. “These victims have endured—and continue to experience—fear, shame and pain. It has taken them years to step forward and tell their stories.”

The lawsuits accuse The Children’s Village of negligence in its hiring, training, and supervision, among other failures, from about 1970 to 1995.

The cases, which are being heard by Justice Steven M. Jaeger at the Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola, were filed under the provision of the Child Victims Act. Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims to ensure survivors of childhood sexual abuse had a path to justice, including the ability to file a case which had already been time-barred or expired for a one-year period. The window to file an expired or time-barred case was set to close August 14, 2020, but due to the disruption of the legal system by the pandemic, the deadline has been extended until August 14, 2021.

One of the plaintiffs, Scott Sartory, who was in attendance at a recent press conference with other alleged victims, arrived at The Children’s Village when he was six years old around 1985. He claims he was forced to shower and expose his rectal area to employees. He was eventually befriended by a Children’s Village employee who adopted him around 1989 and then moved him into his home in Queens, where Sartory alleged he was brutally sexually abused. He ran away from the home and became a homeless youth until he reached adulthood.

Another plaintiff, Anthony Bruno, arrived at The Children’s Village when he was about five years old around 1989. The same employee who adopted Sartory also became Bruno’s foster father. Bruno alleges he was forced to make pornographic videos by his foster father, who also brutally sexually abused him at his foster father’s home. Like Sartory, Bruno eventually ran away from home.

When contacted about the allegations, Peter Sobel, a senior communications officer at The Children’s Village, issued the following statement: “As a leading child welfare agency, the safety of children in our care is our top priority. We are heartbroken by these allegations. Every child deserves and needs to feel safe, secure and supported, and that’s what we work hard to achieve every day.”

At The Children’s Village campus in Dobbs Ferry, approximately 300 children, ages 12 to 20, live at any given time, with lengths of stay ranging from 30 days to 12 months. The campus also has apartments for staff, which house approximately 114 staff families. There is a public school that serves the residents and children from the surrounding communities; a job training programs that give residents experience in dog training, barbering, cooking, and other skills; a recording studio; full recreation center; greenhouses and community garden; and other facilities.

Share the News!
Advertisement
Andrea Martone - Westchester and Rivertowns Real Estate - Houlihan Lawrence agent

Abinanti Seeks to Incorporate Tappan Zee in Cuomo Bridge Name

By Rick Pezzullo--- State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti is looking to bring back the name Tappan Zee to the bridge that...
Read More

Irvington Historical Society’s Train Show is Back and Better Than Ever

`By Barrett Seaman— The annual Irvington Historical Society winter train show has returned after a pandemic interruption. The product of...
Read More

Dobbs Ferry Latest Village To Opt Out of Cannabis Facilities

By Barrett Seaman— After three public hearings—the last of which ran over three hours, the Dobbs Ferry Board of Trustees...
Read More

Dobbs Ferry Steam Rolls into Football Semifinals

By Tom Pedulla--- On to the Final Four! Undefeated Dobbs Ferry knew it needed to limit its mistakes to defeat...
Read More

The Irvington Historical Society’s Train Show is Back and Better Than Ever

By Barrett Seaman-- The annual Irvington Historical Society winter train show has returned after a pandemic interruption. The product of...
Read More

Former Irvington Resident Wins Pepsico Scholarship

Tiffany Patton, formerly of Irvington, is one of 25 inaugural recipients of a $25,000 scholarship from the Pepsico Foundation, the...
Read More

LOOK No Further for a New Movie Theater Than Dobbs Ferry

By Rick Pezzullo — Residents of the rivertowns will soon be able to watch movies again on the big screen a...
Read More

Game’s On, So Where Are The Wings?

By Barrett Seaman — The Hud­son In­de­pen­dent pre­sents “The Sup­ply Chain Cri­sis Is­n’t Just Global; It’s Lo­cal,” a se­ries de­scrib­ing...
Read More

Tributes Presented to Rotary Club as it Marks 100 Years

By Robert Kimmel — With several state and county representatives attending and offering their accolades, the Rotary Club of the...
Read More

FBI Nabs Bank Robbers in Tarrytown (Spoiler Alert: It’s a TV Scene)

By Barrett Seaman — In this scene, robbers are forced to barricade themselves and their hostages inside the bank at...
Read More
53 recommended
2463 views
bookmark icon