NEW YORK – The news that five students who attended the Day School of the Community of St. Dimitrios in Jamaica are taking legal action, claiming compensation for sexual abuse from a vice principal of the school struck the Greek-American community in New York like a bolt of lightning.
According to the lawsuit filed by Lambros Lambrou of the Lambrou Law Firm, P.C. five former students of St. Demetrios were targeted by the former assistant principal – and coach – Laurence Svrcek. The allegations of the plaintiffs, as described to the National Herald by Lambrou and also as presented in the lawsuit, constitute a `slap in the face' to the Community.
The defendants include the community of St. Demetrios of Jamaica, as well as the Archdiocese of America as they allegedly remained inactive, given that it is claimed that the described tendencies of Svrcek were, more or less, “an open secret."
The press release issued by the law firm, refers to former students from three different decades (late '70 s and the '80s and '90s) who confirmed that they have experienced the alleged sick appetites of this former teacher, who now resides permanently in Suffolk County, according to the lawsuit.
Lambrou told the National Herald that the case file has already reached prosecutors and that there may be a possible criminal investigation of the case in the near future, as some of the reported crimes are not affected by statutes of limitations according to legislation currently in force.
“HE SERVED ALCOHOL – HE TOOK THEM HOME TOO”
Lambrou Law Firm has already prepared the lawsuits and is in contact with other possible victims, so the list of plaintiffs may grow. It is estimated that these are people, whose age today ranges from 35 to 50 years, based on the dates they had attended the St. Demetrios school.
Additional information will be added to this article.
The Lambrou Law Firm press release follows:
RESPONSE OF ARCHDIOCESE
"In the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America we take allegations of sexual abuse of children very seriously. We have in place robust long-standing policies to investigate, prevent against and remedy such abuse in addition to a rigorous background check process for all parish youth workers and volunteers. We have recently received complaints in which plaintiffs allege that at various times in the 1970's and 1980's they were sexually abused by a man named Lawrence Svcek, a lay person who was apparently employed as a teacher by the Saint Demetrios Day School in Jamaica, New York. The Archdiocese has not entered an appearance in the litigation, nor have we formally responded to the complaints. Until then, it would be premature to comment on the specific allegations at this point."