Geneva man hopes sharing his story of abuse will bring change

(WHAM photo)

Geneva, N.Y. – Peter Saracino, 66, of Geneva alleges he was sexually abused by a Capuchin Franciscan priest when he was 8 years old.

Thursday marked 27 years to the day that Saracino confronted his alleged abuser in a letter.

Saracino said his abuser was not part of the Rochester Diocese, rather from a seminary in New Jersey that led the school for boys interested in becoming priests in Geneva in the 1950s and 1960s.

The statute of limitations prevents him from taking legal action, but he hopes his story will change that.

“You could argue that murder of the soul is worse. This is going to sound morbid, and I don't mean it to be, but if you murder the body, you're dead and your pain is over. When you murder the soul, it's life sentence,” said Saracino of his abuse.

There are a number of aspects supporters of the Child Victims Act want changed. The one that could have the biggest impact on Saracino’s life may be the most controversial: Give survivors of sexual abuse one year to bring their case forward, no matter how much time has passed.

“Which would allow people like me to have their day in court,” Saracino said.

This bill has been passed by the New York State Assembly, but has never made it to the Senate floor.

The measure is set to be voted on again in January.

Advocates and survivors, like Saracino, are hopeful the November election could change its outcome next year.

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