A lawsuit filed on October 16, 2019 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the New York School for the Deaf (also known as ‘Fanwood”) and the New York State Education Department alleges that 12 female students at the school were sexually abused while residing in the on-campus dormitories during the years 1964 to 1979. Some of the alleged victims were as young as 4-years-old when the alleged abuse began and none of the alleged victims were older than 11 at the time they were abused.
Alleged Abuser Preyed on Deaf Students within Dormitory
Joseph Casucci was hired by the NYSD in or around 1960 as a “houseparent” at the School for the Deaf. He was the supervisor of the shared dormitory where each of the 12 plaintiffs were assigned to live during their time at the school. Each of the 12 Deaf women describe in similar fashion having been fondled, kissed and digitally penetrated by their alleged abuser soon after having moved into the shared dormitory. The plaintiffs allege that they were all abused in the bathroom, bedroom and living room areas of the dormitory where they each lived with Joseph Casucci and his wife as well. As many as 8 of the girls alleging to have been victimized by Casucci would have lived in the dorm together at one time.
NYSD and NY Dept. of Education Failed to Protect Deaf Children
The complaint alleges the defendants’ failed to “exercise the same degree of care and supervision over the Plaintiffs under their control as a reasonably prudent parent would have exercised under the same circumstances.” As minors and students of the school, the complaint also alleges Defendants were trusted with the care of the Plaintiffs and failed to do so.
The Plaintiffs in the case are seeking judgment against the School for the Deaf and NY State Education Dept. and damages for the injuries they have each suffered as a result of the Defendants in the case being wanton, reckless, officially tolerant and deliberately indifferent to abuse of the Plaintiffs by Casucci, negligent retention of Casucci and negligent failure to provide a safe and secure environment.