The Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association in Brewster, NY, is facing a federal lawsuit after a man the organization hired reportedly sexually assaulted a woman with cerebral palsy.
Lohud reports that Joseph Faraone, a former priest who previously won $1 million in a lottery, was convicting of sexually assaulting a 50-year-old disabled woman with cerebral palsy while he was an employee at Hudson Valley Cerebral Palsy Association’s group home in 2015.
According to court documents, Faraone served only one year in jail, followed by probation which required him to register as a sex offender. The U.S. District Court in White Plains, NY, described the victim as having the mentality of a 12-year-old and unable to consent to sexual advances.
Associated Press (AP) reports that Faraone forced the disabled victim to perform oral sex on him in June 2015, while they were in a courtyard. Later that year in Sept., while the victim was in an elevator with Faraone, he once again sexually assaulted her.
“We have witnesses, about four or five witnesses, specifically detailing sexual abuse that took place in the courtyard,” the victim’s attorney said in 2015.
Although the association and its executives deny that they did anything wrong, the lawsuit accuses Hudson Valley CPA of failing to take employee complaints about Faraone serious, specifically after complaints of him sexually assaulting the victim surfaced the first time in June 15. When supervisors allegedly failed to take action, a worker recorded Faraone in the act in Sept. 15, when he sexually assaulted the victim again.
When presented with the evidence, Chief Operating Officer of Programs Beatrice Guida attempted to prepare false reports that made it look like action against Faraone was previously taken, the lawsuit alleges. Several staff members are accused of assisting Guida with the cover-up.
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified monetary amount from the organization, which according to tax records, brings in around $18 million in revenues. The plaintiff said the damages sought are for rights violations and emotional harm.
Shortly after the assaults, the victim moved to a different group where she is learning to cope with what happened.
About Joseph Faraone
Faraone spent 12 hours as a pastor at the St. James the Apostle Church in Carmel, followed by 11 years as a pastor at the at St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown. He also spent nine years as a pastor at Mount Kisco’s St. Francis of Assisi. It was during his time at St. Patrick’s in the 1980s that he won the lottery, which gained him local popularity.
At the time he claimed he would give half of his winnings to the church and the other half to his friends and family. It’s unclear if that promise actually panned out.
Faraone was convicted of felony “criminal sex act involving a mentally disabled victim incapable of consent.” He’s currently living in Brewster, where he’s required to serve 10 years of probation.