PITTSBURG, Pa. (NBC NEWS) – Two new lawsuits have been filed alleging child sexual abuse by priests in the Pittsburgh Diocese.
Both lawsuits name the Diocese of Pittsburgh and current or former officials.
In one case, a man claims he was sexually assaulted by a priest in 1978 when he was 11 years old.
In another case, a woman claims she was sexually assaulted starting in 1977 when she was five years old.
The lawsuits were filed after the release last month of a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report that accused more than 300 priests of abusing more than one-thousand child victims since the 1940s.
“Only because the grand jury put this out in the open do they have the courage, the fortitude to come forward,” said Plaintiff’s Attorney Alan Perer.
“Had they known that the priest had admitted it and had other victims, they could have come forward together. They could have maybe gotten some help, some compensation, some relief for life-long problems,” said Perer.
It’s unclear how the statute of limitations will affect these cases.
The plaintiffs’ attorney alleges that because the diocese covered up the sexual abuse claims against the priests. His clients were unable to pursue lawsuits within the statute of limitations.