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Catholic Schools Sued Over Deceased Coach’s Abuse

Andy Berg

A now-deceased former basketball coach and the Catholic schools at which he worked are now the defendants in multiple lawsuits that allege the coach abused students and athletes under his care. 

Four lawsuits filed since December in the Supreme Court of New York County accuse Vincent Dutkowski of sexually abusing students at Our Lady of Lourdes High School during the 1960s.

Dutkowski was a registered sex offender living in Florida before his death at 83 in 2012. He did not face criminal charges related to the accusations in New York, as he had become a sex offender after being convicted in South Carolina in 2005.

The latest lawsuits are a result of the Child Victims Act, which allows people to bring lawsuits related to past alleged sexual abuse against people or institutions regardless of how long ago the incidents took place.

According to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, four victims have now come forward that attended Our Lady of Lourdes High School during the mid-to-late 1960s. The lawsuits alleges Dutkowski abused them while they participated in sports activities and physical education.

Dutkowski was hired at the school around 1965 as a physical education teacher and sports team coach, according to court records. One lawsuit claims he was hired at OLL, despite being charged with molesting two students while employed at a New Jersey school in 1962.

"All such injuries sustained ... due to Dutkowski’s outrageous conduct were a foreseeable result of the defendants’ negligence in hiring, retaining and failing to supervise Dutkowski," one of the New York County lawsuits said, according to the Sun-Bulletin.

Another lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court of Broome County claims Dutkowski sexually abused a teenage student at Seton Catholic High School in Endicott on approximately 25 occasions during the 1970s.

Lawyers representing Seton have denied all allegations in the Broome County lawsuit. Lawyers for the Archdiocese of New York, a defending in the four complaints filed in New York, have argued for dismissal in two of those cases.

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