BY JON CRONIN
After nearly 30 years, former students of Holy Cross School in Maspeth have broken their silence to allege that a former priest at the school sexually abused them.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian is representing the 15 women who have stepped forward and claimed that Rev. Adam Prochaski sexually abused them in his car, the church, the school and their homes between 1973 and 1994. At the time, the women were between the ages of 5 and 16 years and are now between the ages of 37 and 48 years.
Garabedian pointed out that the statute of limitations on these crimes has run out and that his clients are taking part in the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, unless legislators decide to change the statute of limitations.
Garabedian said that he will soon discuss the situation with the Queens district attorney’s office.
“The question remains, ‘Where were the supervisors and why weren’t they protecting the children?’” asked Garabedian in an interview with the Queens Tribune.
Linda Porcaro taught at the school from 1986 to 1991 and said that students told her they were being sexually abused. She reported the girls’ accusations to the school’s administration, yet Prochaski allegedly continued abusing students.
Porcaro said that many of the girls were Polish immigrants whose families were aided by Prochaski when they immigrated to the United State. Porcaro said that the families felt indebted to the reverend and did not want to speak out for fear of being blacklisted by the diocese.
Porcaro reported the allegations to Sister Benedict Jankowicz, the principal of the school at the time.
Porcaro said that Jankowicz told her, “Everybody knows about Father Adam.”
“Then she laughed and did nothing,” Porcaro said.
The next year, Porcaro said that she told a new principal she was leaving since she could not protect her students from Prochaski.
Porcaro said years later that she received a call from a former co-worker at the school who said that Prochaski had been defrocked by the diocese for reports of alleged sexual abuse and having children with a woman.
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin.