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THE SINS OF A ‘FATHER' WEIGH HEAVILY ON A FATHER

Jul 5, 2002 | The New York Post

THE sound of the ticking clock is slowly driving Roberto Olivares mad.

Olivares wants his estranged, 22-year-old son to pursue criminal charges against four priests who allegedly sexually abused him as teen in a Bronx church - before it's too late.

The grotesque abuse that occurred between 1996 to 1999 appears to be the only prosecutable case of priest sex abuse in the three dozen cases the Archdiocese of New York handed over to district attorneys in Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island and 10 upstate counties.

"We approached the victim last year and again in April," a law-enforcement source in the Bronx DA's office said. "We attempted to talk to the victim through his lawyer, and the victim declined."

"It's the only case we have that falls within the statute of limitation."

Ten months from today, Olivares' son turns 23 - and the statute of limitations runs out.

"If my son talks, I feel that I will be liberated from the psychological cross that I've been carrying," said Olivares, a 50-year-old Manhattan factory worker and devout Catholic.

Sure, it may seem selfish for a father to try and coax his son to relive the grueling details of sexual abuse that began when he worked in the rectory of St. Simon Stock Church, at 2191 Valentine Ave.

A March 2000 lawsuit describes group masturbation, cash in exchange for sex, jealous tantrums between priests vying for the teen's affections and physical threats that forced him to move to Miami.

Olivares says he also suffered when he sought "justice" in 1999, when his son was still a minor, 17. He refused hush money and was ostracized by other parishioners who thought he was bringing down the church, he says.

His pain intensified in February, when his son, an adult, accepted a cash settlement to drop the case - even though the young man promised his father to pursue it.

There is also the archdiocese's decision in April to release all victims from cash-settled pacts - enabling them to talk to prosecutors.

"My son betrayed me - he knows he offended me," said Olivares, who still lives a block away from the church. "The corruption of the church must be exposed. There was never public disclosure by the church - the community thinks I wanted the priests removed for personal reasons."


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