NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Former Iona College President Brother James Liguori has been accused of child sex abuse in a court filing.
Published reports say an Orange County, Calif., man has accused Liguori of abusing him in 1969 at the Cardinal Farley Military Academy in Rhinebeck, N.Y.
“Through an Internet posting, we recently learned of a lawsuit alleging child abuse by former President, Brother James A. Liguori, whose employment at the College concluded on September 26, 2011,” Iona College said in a statement.
The college said it has not seen the lawsuit and would not comment at this time. It referred questions about the suit to Steve Mangione, spokesperson for the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America (c: 914-403-4072, o: 914-232-7323).
“Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are in support of any victim of sex abuse and their family,” the college said.
Iona College, founded in the tradition of the Blessed Edmund Rice, has been independent since 1947. It is not part of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America and is not connected to that organization's bankruptcy filing and related allegations, the college said.
The former leadership team of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America, where Liguori is currently a member, hired Lester Amann of AMRIC Associates in May 2008 to investigate the allegations, a letter from Edmund Province Leader Hogh O’Neil said. A copy of the letter was emailed to The Daily Voice by the law offices of Joseph George, who represents the alleged victim.
“Every effort was made to contact any possible witnesses," the letter says. "Based on the investigator’s interviews with you and then with Br. Liguori, Mr. Amman and his associate contacted a dozen former students, teachers and administrators of Cardinal Farley Military Academy and reviewed school records as part of their investigation.”
“Based on the information gathered as a result of this investigation it was not possible to substantiate your allegation,” it says.
“I can assure you, however, that we have developed and implemented policies and procedures designed to create safe environments which protect minors in all our ministry sites. Also we are trying to find the best possible ways to assist those in need of understanding and healing," O’Neil said in the letter.
Court files for the lawsuit were not immediately available.