A Boy Suffers Horrific Sexual Abuse by Multiple Perpetrators While At LaSalle School, Albany, NY

La Salle School, Albany, NY

Photograph of Fr. Joseph Romano

Fr. Joseph Romano

Photograph of William Keyes

William H. Keyes

Note: Telephone interviews of Daniel Lewis or any of the attorneys can be arranged by contacting Craig Vernon at (208) 667-0683 or by email at cvernon@jvwlaw.net.

Daniel Lewis has filed a civil lawsuit against The Diocese of Albany, New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), the LaSalle School, the Christian Brothers, and perpetrators William H. Keyes and Fr. Joseph R. Romano, two of the three predators LaSalle School employed to supervise and care for Lewis and the other boys who were residents there back in the 1980’s. A third abuser, Charles Burrell, is deceased. According to its website, the LaSalle School was founded in 1854 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers to serve abandoned, orphaned, and/or otherwise troubled boys.

As a ward of the State of New York, Daniel was removed from his family by OCFS and placed at LaSalle School at age 14. Working in cooperation, OCFS and LaSalle implemented a pilot foster care program and placed Daniel in the home of Charles B. Burrell. Immediately, Burrell began to sexually abuse Daniel. The sexual abuse continued, almost daily, for approximately a year, at which time it is believed the program abruptly ended and Daniel was returned to LaSalle.

While in Burrell’s home, Burrell frequently invited William H. Keyes to sexually assault Daniel and other boys in his home. Keyes is believed to have been the supervisor of the Lasalle’s prefects at that time. Keyes was arrested in April of 1985, convicted of promoting sexual performance by a child less than 16 years of age, and was sentenced to 42 months to seven years in state prison. He currently resides in Albany, New York, and is a registered sex offender.

When Daniel returned to live at LaSalle, he met Fr. Joseph R. Romano, a priest employed by the Diocese of Albany and by the School as the coordinator of religious education. Fr. Romano roamed the School’s dormitory in the evenings, socializing with the boys. He interacted with William Keyes who also worked at LaSalle. Not long after Daniel met this priest, Fr. Romano began to sexually assault him. In addition to suffering horrific sexual assaults by Fr. Romano, Daniel was forced to watch Romano as he made another boy give him oral sex.

Fr. Romano was eventually removed from the ministry in 2003, following credible allegations of sexual abuse against children. It is believed that Fr. Romano, who has never faced any criminal penalties for his sexual victimization of children, is now living the quiet life in Florida, an affront to his victims. This makes a civil case that much more important to Daniel Lewis.

Daniel files his lawsuit under a new New York law (Child Victim’s Act), that gives adult survivors of child sexual abuse until August 20, 2020 to file a civil lawsuit for past abuse. Daniel discusses how this lawsuit is empowering: “For years, this was my shame. By filing this lawsuit, my shame ends. It is time to figure out why LaSalle, the State of New York, and the Diocese of Albany, put (and kept) these sexual predators in a position of power and control over me and other vulnerable boys.”

“These men were supposed to take care of me; instead, they harmed me in the worst way. They stole my innocence and destroyed my trust. Even though this happened long ago, as I reflect back on my life, I wonder how much of my self-destructive behavior is linked to what happened when I was living at LaSalle under the care of these pedophiles,” Daniel said.

According to Daniel’s attorneys—Craig Vernon and Leander James of James, Vernon & Weeks, and Patrick Noaker of Noaker Law Firm LLC, the lawsuit alleges several counts of negligence against the Defendants who failed to protect him from years of sexual abuse by Burrell, Keyes and Fr. Romano, predators that had unfettered access to him at LaSalle.

“This case is very upsetting,” said attorney Craig Vernon. “For the sexual assaults to have happened over such a long period of time, smacks of neglect. Instead of protecting boys like Daniel, the Defendants put sexual predators in positions of power and control, allowing them ongoing access to vulnerable boys.”

Leander James, one of Daniel’s attorneys, adds: “Daniel is shining a spotlight on past wrongs. For many, the first step in healing is taking this important, yet difficult step of coming forward and demanding answers.”

Daniel’s attorneys recognize Daniel’s courage by filing this lawsuit under his full name, as abuse survivors have the right to file lawsuits under a pseudonym to protect their privacy.

“Daniel’s decision to go public with his story is a courageous act that will help other abuse survivors,” explains attorney Patrick Noaker. “He’s helping to de-stigmatize the shame that many survivors carry with them.”

“Preliminary investigation has revealed that there are likely many other abuse survivors from LaSalle out there. This appears to be just the tip of the iceberg of sexual abuse survivors at LaSalle.” Vernon added.

For more information about attorneys Craig Vernon and Leander James, see Attorneys. For Patrick Noaker, see Noaker Law.

More Than 600 Clergy Abusers Named in California

In California, there are more than 660 credibly accused Catholic clergy abusers, according to one organization that tracks the abuse. The list of abusers includes four high-ranking bishops among the list of priests accused of harming children.

Victims of sexual abuse in California now have more time to seek justice through the courts, thanks to a new law signed last month by California’s governor. Included in the list are bishops Tod D. Brown from the Fresno Diocese, and Juan Arzube, Roger Mahony and G. Patrick Ziemann from the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Attorneys at James Vernon & Weeks have teamed with California law firm Donahoo and Associates to help victim pursue their cases.

“The number of victims is staggering,” said Leander James of James Vernon & Weeks. “And we know survivors of child sexual abuse struggle to come forward. This is just the beginning.”

On Oct 13, California Gov. Gavin Newsome signed the law suspending the statute of limitations for three years beginning in Jan. 1, 2020, providing a window of opportunity for abuse survivors to bring past claims that have expired due to the statute of limitations. Survivors of child sexual abuse can now seek justice, no matter when their abuse occurred.

Going forward, the new law also gives survivors until the age of 40 or until five years from the discovery of the abuse to file claims. Previously, the limit was 26 years old or within three years of the discovery of the abuse.

California is among the latest states in recent years, such as New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Minnesota, to allow abuse victims more time to pursue civil cases. Abuse by Catholic clergy and Boy Scouts of America volunteers are a few institutions in California that have been seen large numbers of sex abuse victims, James said. In California alone, there are more than 660 credibly accused Catholic clergy abusers, according to one organization that tracks the abuse.

If you are a victim of abuse, call 888-667-0683 for a free consultation.

Below is a list of names of credibly accused Catholic clergy abusers.

Source: Bishop Accountability.

Rubin Abaya • Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera • Arturo Ahumada • Pierre Albalaa • Sebastian Altamirano Torres • Joseph F. Alzugaray • David E. Anderson • Roger Anderson • Aloysius Antlitz • Andreas Arias • Juan (Bp.) Arzube • Edmund Austin • Delfin Babilonia • Michael Stephen Baker • Frederick R. Balak • Victor Balbin • Felipe Baldonado • Kevin P. Barmasse • John Bauer • Gaspar Bautista • Christopher Berbena • Matthias A. Berumen • Honesto Bayranta Bismonte • Robert Boley • Robert Bond • Leland Boyer • John Lawrence Brennan • Lawrence Brown • Michael Daniel Buckley • Ronald Francis Burt • Ed Byrom • Honorato (Henry) Caboang • Samuel Charles Cabot • Lynn Richard Caffoe • James Cairns • Felix (Raymond) Calonge • Juan Cano • Cleve W. Carey • (Laurian) David Carriere • Michael J. Carroll (in Calif.) • Raul Carvajal Hernandez • Edward J. Casey • John Joseph Casey • Michael Joseph Casey • Willebaldo Castro • Camillus Cavagnaro • Vincent V. Cavalli • David Paul Chandler • Damien (Patrick) Chong • Gerald Chumik • Mario Cimmarrusti • Eugene J. Colosimo • Ozias Bailey Cook • Andres S. Corral • John V. Cosgrove • Patrick J. Cotter • R. David Cousineau • Daniel J. Cremins • Sean Cronin • Angel Cruces • Jose Luis Cuevas • Christopher Cunningham • Wallace J. Daley • John H. Dawson • John P. Deady • Donald DeFore • Harold J. DeJonghe • Harold F. DeLisle • James Devaney • Joseph B. Di Peri • William L. Diamond • Arwyn N. Diesta • Frederick Dittmar • Michael Son Trong Doan • Dan Dobbins • Edward J. Dober • Roger Doherty • John B. Doherty (Dougherty) • James E. Dolan • Thomas J. Dove • Francis Dowd • Thomas Duffin • Donald J. DuFour • Albert Joseph Duggan • Joseph Dunne • Donald Duplessius • Sebastian C. Elanjimannil • Andrew Gabriel Encinas • Thomas Patrick English • Mark Epperson • Mark A. Falvey • Clint Farabaugh • Donald G. Farmer • John V. Farris • Charles George Fatooh • Gerald Faue • Arthur (Arturo) N. Fernando • Walter Fernando • Gerald B. Fessard • James J. Fitzpatrick • Thomas Q. Fitzpatrick • Patrick Flannery • Vincent Stephen Flynn • George Foley • James Michael Ford • Dominic T. Gaioni • George Michael Gallagher • Jesus Garay • Christobal Garcia • Peter E. Garcia • Ramon Garcia • Richard Francis Garcia • Sergio E. Garcia • Denis Ginty • David F. Granadino • Philip L. Grill • James Grimes • Matteo (Mateo) Guerrero • Roderic M. Guerrini • George A. Gunst • Vincente Guzman • John Joseph Hackett • Clinton Vincent Hagenbach • Bernard Brian Hanley • Michael Joseph Haran • Paschal Hardy • Charles Harman/Harmon • Richard A. Hartman • Thomas E. Havel • Benjamin Hawkes • Gerald Heather • Richard Allen Henry • Alfred Hernandez • Stephen C. Hernandez • Patrick J. Hill • William Hollinger • Michael A. Hunt • John J. Hurley • Richard Hurley • Joseph James • Melvin P. James • Luis Jaramillo • Tilak A. Jayawardene • Emmanuel Jimenez-Pelayo • David (Dave) E. Johnson • Anthony Juarez • Robert Jesus Juarez • Stephen Kain • Philip Kavanaugh • Christopher Kearney • John Keeney • Matthew H. Kelly • Patrick M. Kelly • John M. Kenney • John F. Killeen • Sister Mary Joseph Killeen • Thomas F. King • Bruce J. Klikunas • Frank Kohlbeck • John Kohnke • Gustave R. (Gus) Krumm • Sylvio Lacar • Michael Lalor • Timothy R. Lane • David LaPierre • Fergus Lawless • Modesto Leon • Jerold W. Lindner • Theodore Llanos • Charles Loofborough • Richard A. Loomis • Joseph Lopez • Fernando Lopez Lopez • Larry Lorenzoni • Lawrence Joseph (LJ) Lovell • Denis Lyons • Juan Macias • Eugene MacSweeney • Roger Mahony (Bp) • Eugene A. Maio • Sylvester E. Mancuso • Thomas Reon Paul, Jr. Marshall • James Aloysius Martin • Ernest Martinez • Ruben D. Martinez • Richard M. Martini • Leonardo G. Mateo • Francisco Mateos • Charles Patrick Mayer • Vincent McCabe • Kevin McCarthy • Forrest McDonald • Daniel McDonough • Thomas McElhatton • James McGloin • Seán John McGrath • Patrick McHugh • Martin McKeon • Patrick H. McNamara • Jose Mejia Gonzales • Jose J. Mendez • William P. Messenger • Louis L. Meyer • Titian Jim (Athos) Miani • George Michael Miller • John Dennis Mitchell • Vincent Molthen • Alfred J. Monte • Michael Andre Moody • Raymond D. Morales • Ralph Murguia • Francis J. Murphy • Joseph L. Murphy • Daniel J. Murray • Jeffrey Newell • Michael Stephen Nocita • Cyril wankwo • John F. O’Byrne • Charles W. O’Carroll • Donal P. O’Connor • Patrick O’Dwyer • James F. O’Grady • Mark O’Leary • Martin O’Loghlen • Thomas E. O’Rourke • Javier Ochoa • Samuel Orellana Mendoza • Gary Pacheco • Mario Pacheco • Michael P. Pecharich • Daniel P. Peck • Robert H. Peguero • Amado Pena • Francisco Javier Perez • James Person • Louis V. Pick • Joseph D. Pina • Bernard Thomas Pleimann (Plieman) • Gerald John Plesetz • Stanislaus Poon • Thomas A. Porter • Joseph/Josef Prochnow/Procknow • Patrick Purcell • John C. Quatannens • Celestine Quinlan • Eleuterio Ramos • Joseph Franklin Reagan (Regan) • Patrick Reilly • Terence John Reilly • Nicholas Reina • Loren Riebe • James Richard Robinson • Ernest Rodie • Carlos Rene Rodriguez • Michael M. Roebert • Donald Patrick Roemer • William Roper • Fidel Rosas Flores • Dorian G. Rowe • Efrain Rozo Rincon • George Neville Rucker • Joseph Francis Ryan • Thomas Ryan • Alexander Salazar • Armando Salazar • John Anthony Salazar-Jimenez • Gabriel Salinas • Jose L. Sanchez • Juan Francisco Sanchez • Manuel Ontiveros Sanchez • Lawrence Sandstrom • Juan (John) Santillan • Sister Agnes Santomassimo • Richard Satterthwaite • Arulappan Savrianandam • Emmett Gilroy Schaller • Maurice Scheier • George M. Scott • Louis Selmo • Avdon (Audon) Serratos • Joe Sharkey • Joseph F. Sharpe • John R. Shepherd • Edward E. Shimmaly • Fidencio Simon Silva-Flores • Francis (Raymond E). Simon • Michael Sintef • Robert William Spader • Stephen Emmett Specialle (Speciale) • Matthew Michael Sprouffske • Joseph Stadtfeld • Louis G. Stallkamp • Thomas J. Sullivan • Carl Maurice Sutphin • Joseph Tacderas • Santiago L. Tamayo • Lukas Bao Teluma • Raymond (Jose) Tepe • Michael Terra • Tom Thing • Vance Zebulon Thorne • Carl D. Tresler • Valentine Tugade • Jerome Turba • Jose I. Ugarte • Christoper Van Liefde • Vincent Van ter Toolen • Pedro Vasquez • John Verhart • Henry Xavier Vetter • Gillmero Nemoria Villa Gomez • Ernesto Corral Villaroya • William S. Vita • Rudolph T. Vorisek • John H. Wadeson • James Joseph Walsh • Thomas Warren • Francis J. Weber • Wilfred Weitz • Michael Edwin Wempe • Gerald Wertz • John W. Wishard • Philip Mark Wolfe • G. Patrick Ziemann (BP)
John Bradley • Tod D. Brown (Bp) • Hermy Dave O. Ceniza • James Collins (in Fresno) • Raul Diaz • John Esquivel • Miguel Flores • Benjamin Gabriel • Robert Gamel • Louis Aloysius Garcia • Craig Harrison • Anthony G. Herdegen • Vincent A. O’Connell • Eric Swearingen
Phillip Abinate • Alberto (Orlando) Battagliola • Stuart Bede Campbell • Marcos Capistran Chavira • Thomas Condon • Antonio Cortes • Edward Crews • Patrick Daly • Vincent Dwyer • Juan Carlos Esquivel • Carl Faria • Edward Fitz Henry • Luis Garcia • Edward T. Haskins • Manuel Jimenez • Gregory Kareta • Scott McCarthy • Michael McDonald • Albert (Alberto) Mengon • Gilbert Meyer • Felix Migliazzo • Charles L. Moore • Thomas Neary • Colman O’Connor • Joseph Pacheco • John Pierson • Joseph Sheehan • Paul R. Valdez • John Velez • James Wisecaver
Jeffrey N. Acebo • Thomas Duong Binh-Minh • Vincent Ignatius Breen • Donald Eugene Broderson • Kenneth J. Cabral • Alexander Q. Castillo • James A. Clark • Phillip Colloty • Hilary Cooper • Virendra Coutts • George E. Crespin • Sidney J. Custodio • Pearse P. Donovan • Dennis Duffy • Donald W. Eagleson • Joseph A. Ferreira • Patrick Finnegan • George J. Francis • Robert E. Freitas • Adrian Furman • William S. Green • Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez-Cervantes • Stephen M. Kiesle • Ronald J. LaGasse • Tarcisio D. Lanuevo • Cornelius P. Leehan • Gary M. Luiz • Bede McKinnon • Daniel McLeod • Hector David Mendoza Vela • Joaquin Moreno • Lawrence O’Brien • William Odom-Green • Robert F. Ponciroli • James E. Prindeville • Arthur A. (Arturo) Ribeiro • Anthony Slane • Gary B. Tollner • Ramon Varela • John Vas • Francis Verngren • Stephen (Steve) Whelan • Gordon Wilcox • Terrence Wong
Andrew Christian Andersen • Sofronio A. (Pon) Aranda • Gregory Atherton • Lawrence J. Baird • Franklin Buckman • Santino Casimano (Casamino) • John V. Coffield • Richard Delahunty • Sinon F. Falvey • Robert Foley • Michael A. Harris • Bertrand W. Horvath • Edgardo Arrunataegui Jimenez • John Knoernschild • John Peter Lenihan • John “Jack” W. Lord • Alexander Manville • Thomas Joseph Mohan • Dominic Nguyen • Gordon John Pillon • Timothy Ramaekers • Luis Eduardo Ramirez • John (Jon) E. Ruhl • Cesar Salazar • John A. Sheahan • Gerardo Jarencio Tanilong
Thomas G. Allender • Alejandro Arroyo • Gerardo Beltran Rico • Mario Blanco • Edward Boyle • Vincent Brady • James Casey • Robert Casper • Andrew Coffey • Malachy Conway • Hector Coria Gonzales • Pablo Cortes • John Crowley • Rodolfo Delgado • Thomas Dermody • John Dowling • Arthur A. Falvey • William Feeser • Oscar Figueroa • J. Patrick Foley • Francisco Javier Garcia • John Hannan • Jerome M. Henson • David Hernandez Cota • Francisco Hernandez-Tovar • William B. Hold • Michael Lynch • Jesus Magallanes • Robert (Bob) Marsicek • James Mennis • Vito Mistretta • James Thomas Monaghan • Jorge Moreno • Cornelius F. O’Connor • Uriel Ojeda • Z. Enrique Perez • Vernon Petrich • Jose Antonio Pinal Contellanos • Mario Blanco Porras • Michael Prouix • William Storan • Simon Twomey • Jose Luis Urbina • Murrough Wallace • Michael Walsh • Michael Walsh (California) • John “Casper” Watts
Saul Ayala • Edward Lawrence Ball • Roberto Barco • Joseph Bell • Gustavo Benson • Michael Bucaro • Alejandro Jose /Alex Castillo • Peter Covas • Owen da Silva • Daniel De Dominicis • Jesus Dominguez • Robert J. Donat • Kevin Dunne • Clifton Raymond Etienne • Joseph (Joe) Fertal • Anthony Martinez Garduno • Rudi Gil • Maximiliano Gomez Macouzet • J. Ernest/Ernest J. Hayes • Joseph Jablonski • Dennis Raymond Jost • Timothy F. Keppel • Robert Kurilec • Peter H. Luque • Peter McCormick • Howard Melzer • Paul Nguyen • Joseph R. Nunez • Louis G. Perreault • Esteban Trujillo • Bernard Waltos
John Beatty • James T. Booth • Sister Bridgette • Robert Buchanan • Arthur Carrillo • Jose Chavarin • Edito D’Amora • John Joseph Daly • Nelson Damasco • Luis Eugene De Francisco • Donald F. Doxie • Brent Eagen • Herman Francis Flynn • Michael French • Rudolph Galindo • James A. Ganahl • Paul Gill • Michael Higgins • Gary Michael Holtey • Richard L. Houck • Patrick J. Hughes • John Charles Keith • Robert S. Koerner • Adalbert (Albert) J. Kowalczyk • William Armstrong Kraft • Lawrence Kurlandski • George Lally • Justin Langille • Michael Victor Marron • Peter Joseph Marron • Malachy M. McGinn • Patrick Carl McNamara • Mark/Marc A. Medaer • Ricardo Mejia • Thomas Moloney • Paolino Montagna • Robert Daniel. Nikliborc • Patrick J. O’Keeffe • Emmanuel O. Omemaga • Daniel Polizzi • Nicholas Reveles • Franz Robier • Edward Anthony Rodrigue • David Roll • Joseph (Jose) Rossell • William R. Savord • Edward Augustine Sheehy • Gregory Sierra Sheridan • William D. Spain • Matthew J. Thompson • Victor Uboldi • William Valverde • Barry Vinyard
Peter Gomez Armstrong • James W. Aylward • Theodore Baquedano-Pech • Salvatore Billante • Roberto Bravo • Daniel E. Carter • Edmond G. Cloutier • Arthur Manuel Cunha • Bernard Dabbene • Harold Danielson • Charles Durkin • Hal Ellis • John P. Heaney • Gregory G. Ingels • Austin Peter Keegan • Daniel T. Keohane • Jerome Leach • Epiphanius Lewis • Philip E. McCrillis • John Moriarty • Guy Anthony Murnig • William S. Myers • John J. O’Connor • Patrick J. O’Shea • Dan (Danilo) Pacheco • Richard P. Presenti • Miles O’Brien Riley • Carl Anthony Schipper • Wellington Joseph “Brother Stan” Stanislaus • Jose Superiaso • Henry J. Trainor • Leo Donald Tubbs • Robert M. Van Handel • Milton T. Walsh • Peter Yost
Thomas Bettencourt • Edward Thomas Burke • Charles Leonard Connor • Joseph Dondero • William C. Farrington • Don D. Flickinger • Robert A. Gray • Arthur Harrison • Laurent Largente • Alexander C. Larkin • Angel Crisostomo Mariano • John Rodrigues Moniz • George Moss • Leonel C. Noia • Joseph T. Pritchard • Noel Senevirante • Phil Sunseri • Hernan Toro • Benedict Van der Putten
Anthony Bolger • John J. Brenkle • John S. Crews • Patrick Gleeson • Patrick A. Hannon • Michael Emmet Kelly • Donald Wren Kimball • Patrick Joseph McCabe • John A. Meenan • Francis E. Neville • Vincent O’Neill • Francisco Xavier Ochoa • Ted Oswald • Xavier Pallathuparambil • John K. Rogers • Wilfred L. Sheehy • Alfredo Sobalvarro • Gary Timmons • James Walsh • Bernard (Bernie) Ward • Ron Wiecek
Francis Arakai • Antonio Camacho • Didacus (Didachus) Clavell • Murty M. Fahy • Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa • Michael E. Kelly • Editho Mascardo • Antonio Munoz • Oliver Francis O’Grady • Oscar (Oskar) Pelaez • Eduardo Perez Torrez • Leo Suarez • Ferdinand (Fernando) Villalobos