Maryland State Boychoir Director Resigns Following Catholic Church Child Sex Abuse Allegations
A recent report on child sex abuses in the Baltimore Archdiocese has led to the resignation of the director of the Maryland State Boychoir, who was identified as an accused abuser while affiliated with the Catholic Church.
According to an investigation by The Baltimore Sun (subscription required), the founder and long-time director of the Maryland State Boychoir, Frank T. Cimino, was one of the unnamed individuals described in the Baltimore Archdiocese child sex abuse report released earlier this year by the Maryland Attorney General, which compiled information from hundreds of individuals who say they were abused as children by members of the clergy.
Cimino was one of ten names redacted in the version of the report publicly released, but he resigned from his position with the Maryland State Boychoir after he was identified by the Baltimore Sun.
According to an email sent out by the Maryland State Boychoir board of directors on Saturday, the artistic director, Stephen Holmes, has taken over as acting president of the organization.
Cimino Faces Child Sexual Abuse Allegations
According to the Baltimore Sun, Cimino was the minister of music at St. Thomas More Catholic Church when he allegedly sexually abused a choirboy in the 1970s. He was fired from the position in 1987 amid the allegations, and went on to found the Maryland Boychoir that very same year.
The Boychoir was based at St. Matthew United Church of Christ in northeast Baltimore, and has been named an official goodwill ambassador of the state of Maryland, performing at the White House, the Vatican and other prominent locations.
According to the Sun’s report, Cimino was still leading rehearsal at St. Matthew weeks after the redacted version of the report on clergy abuse in the Maryland Catholic Church was released.
Catholic Church Child Sexual Abuse Investigation in Maryland
The Maryland Attorney General launched the investigation into child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church more than four years ago, and compiled information from more than 600 individuals abused as children.
The report found that the Baltimore Archdiocese and the entire Catholic Church placed a priority on keeping the events quiet, and keeping its priests out of jail, rather than protecting children in the church from known sexual predators.
More than 156 abusers were described in the report, but ten of the names were redacted from an interim public release, since they were not known to be deceased and had not previously been listed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a credibly accused individual.
Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023
Immediately following the release of the Attorney General’s report, Maryland lawmakers passed the Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023, which removes the statute of limitations that previously prevented survivors from holding the abusers and Catholic Church accountable for enabling the decades of abuse, paving the way for hundreds of Maryland child sex abuse lawsuits to now be filed.
While several other states have passed laws in recent years which opened temporary “windows” for previously barred claims to now be pursued, the Maryland Child Victims Act of 2023 entirely removes any time limits on how long a survivor has to file a lawsuit over sexual abuse or assault when they were a child.
Passage of the law was opposed by the Maryland Catholic Conference, which claims the new law is unconstitutional. However, Attorney General Brown has indicated he believes he can defend the constitutionality of the newly signed law.
Supporters of the legislation argue that removing the Maryland statute of limitations on child sex abuse claims is necessary, since many survivors are not prepared to address the conduct until much later in life. In addition, the Catholic Church has been notorious for covering up credible allegations, discrediting child survivors of abuse and pressuring devoted families from pursuing any action against priests or other members of the clergy.
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