According to filings in the New York State Supreme Court, the former program director at the defunct Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome County is being ordered to pay a Madison County man, who claimed he was abused at the facility when he was a teen, over a half-million dollars.
Supreme Court Justice Christopher Baker has issued the default judgement against Gerald Berg in settlement of a 2019 lawsuit, ordering Berg to pay the victim $600,000.
The unnamed victim was 14-years-old when he had been working at the then Louis N. Picciano Boy’s Club in 1976 and Berg was a swimming instructor.
The plaintiff claimed he had been sexually abused by Berg in the instructor’s office and after being lured to Berg’s home.
According to a report in the Binghamton Evening Press in 1977, Berg had been charged with a count of felony sodomy.
The lawsuit alleged the plaintiff has suffered a lifetime of consequences from the incidents he endured as a teen, including substance abuse issues and several failed relationships.
This is the second settlement awarded in connection with abuse allegations at the former Boys & Girls Club. The same judge awarded $500,000 in April to a Broome County man who alleged he had been sexually abused by Berg repeatedly over the course of two years when he was 12-years-old.
The Endicott facility abruptly closed in August 2019, shortly after the lawsuit was filed against Berg but no explanation for the closing had been given by Boys & Girls Club officials.
The Children’s Home of the Wyoming Conference in 2020 announced plans to buy the building to turn the site into a community center with after school, athletic programs and other services for youth and families. The Southern Tier Community Center has been undergoing renovations in stages, adding services and programs as the work progresses.