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Lawsuits against diocese allege horrific abuse at homes for needy kids

New lawsuits allege that a boy was repeatedly molested by a priest in the chapel at St. Joseph’s Villa in the 1970s and that same victim was then savagely abused as a teenager by a staff member while living in a DePaul group home during the 1980s.

The incidents at the DePaul home in Rochester and St. Joseph’s Villa, a residential facility for troubled young people in Greece, were connected only by the fact that the victim was the same — a boy orphaned at age 5 in a constant search for a new home.

The alleged victim’s lawyer, Dan Ellis, said it may be no coincidence that his client escaped from one hellish situation only to wind up in another.

“We’ve seen it often. I think a predator can sense someone who’s been victimized, and they prey on that,” he said Thursday.

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