It started with a victim holding a news conference on a street corner and a Buffalo News reporter knocking on a retired priest’s door.
One year ago today, the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits admitted to reporter Jay Tokasz that he had molested “probably dozens” of boys, sparking a scandal that has continued to roil the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
Michael Whalen’s news conference, where he accused Orsolits of sexually abusing him, prompted dozens of other victims to accuse priests of abuse, the diocese to publicly identify priests credibly accused of abusing children for the first time, and eventually calls for Bishop Richard J. Malone’s resignation.
More than 100 priests who worked in the Buffalo area have been publicly linked to sex allegations, according to Buffalo News reports, public records and lists of abusers prepared by the diocese and religious orders.
Only a handful were arrested. Even fewer were sent to prison. Very few of the victims successfully sued.
Under pressure, the Buffalo Diocese publicly identified 80 priests who it said it determined were credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. On Jan. 15, 2019, a Jesuit Province identified eight Jesuit priests who served in the Buffalo Diocese and had been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.
Malone has declined to release any information about the specific allegations or the victims.
Here are the priests who have been publicly accused.
1. Mark S. Andrzejczuk — A Niagara County woman, Gail Holler-Kennedy, sued the diocese and the Franciscan order for $300 million on Feb. 22, alleging Andrzejczuk abused her between 1978 and 1981 when she was a student at Cardinal O’Hara High School.
2. John R. Aurelio – Aurelio admitted to Niagara County law enforcement in 1993 that he and the Rev. Bernard M. Mach sodomized young boys in a house the priests shared in East Aurora. The abuse happened 15 to 20 years prior, Aurelio told authorities. As of 2002, Aurelio was no longer functioning as a priest. He died in 2009. Malone said March 20 that Aurelio had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
3. Benedict P. Barszcz – The assistant pastor of St. Peter's in Lewiston, he was charged in 1999 with exposing himself to two teenage girls in Buffalo. Subsequently, he was no longer allowed to publicly celebrate Mass. Malone said on Nov. 5 that Barszcz, a religious order priest, had been credibly accused.
4. Donald W. Becker – The Buffalo Diocese confirmed March 16 that Becker was removed from active ministry in 2003 because of credible allegations he sexually abused minors. Three men told The News that Becker molested them as children. One of the men, Harry King, who said Becker raped him when King was 13 years old in the late 1970s, was offered a $140,000 settlement from the diocese. Another, John A. Polvino of Amherst, said he received notice from the diocese that he was not eligible for an award because he had not complained about the abuse before March 1, 2018, the diocese's deadline. Becker told The Buffalo News he has never sexually abused children. He said he left active ministry because he had Parkinson's disease.
5. Ron Becker – Becker, who was a seminary student in Buffalo, was identified Nov. 5 by Malone as having been credibly accused. Becker was a priest in the Trenton (N.J.) Diocese. He was charged with a felony sexual assault charge involving his niece in 2007 but died in 2009 before a trial. The Trenton Diocese paid $325,000 to Becker's niece to settle her claims that he sexually assaulted her at church during the 1980s when she was 5 to 11 years old. The Trenton Diocese also paid $1,025,000 in 2011 to settle lawsuits filed by five men who alleged Becker abused them as altar boys at Incarnation Church in Ewing, N.J.
6. David M. Bialkowski – A former altar server accused Bialkowski of inappropriate touching in 2011. Two more accusers came forward shortly after that and Bialkowski was put on leave from St. John Gualbert in Cheektowaga and ordered not to perform any priestly duties. Malone said March 20 that Bialkowski was credibly accused. Bialkowski was one of at least eight credibly accused priests who resided within blocks of a school, The News reported in March 2018. He lived across the street from a playground and near Buffalo's William J. Grabiarz School of Excellence on Lawn Avenue.
7. Robert J. Biesinger – Biesinger was accused in a 1995 lawsuit of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in August 1974 during a drill-team competition in Chicago, as well as at Buffalo locations. Biesinger resigned as pastor of a Cheektowaga parish in 1994 and retired before the diocese settled the lawsuit in 1996. Malone said March 20 that Biesinger was credibly accused. He died in 2012.
8. James Burson — Malone said Nov. 5 that Burson, a religious order priest, was credibly accused. Kevin J. Koscielniak told police in 2018 that Burson molested him in 1979 when he was a 15-year-old Cardinal Dougherty High School student and Burson was the school librarian.
9. Cornelius J. Carr — Carr, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 2005 of sexually abusing minors in 1989-90, the Jesuit Northeast Province said in January. Carr worked at Buffalo's Canisius High during those years. A Louisiana newspaper, The Advocate, reported in September that another province of the Jesuits paid $450,000 to a Louisiana man in 2012 to settle his claim that Carr and a janitor at a Jesuit high school in New Orleans sexually abused him as a child at the school between 1976 and 1980.
10. Secondo Casarotto — The diocese in 2012 reached a financial settlement with a 37-year-old woman who accused Casarotto of groping her inside the rectory of St. Anthony Church in Buffalo in 2009. Casarotto was removed as a priest.
11. Charles Cassetta – Cassetta was accused in a lawsuit filed around 2003 of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in 1971 and 1972 in Palm Beach County, Fla. Cassetta, who left the priesthood in 1975, worked as a priest in Buffalo before Florida.
12. Robert P. Conlin — Wayne Bortle, 53, publicly accused Conlin of sexually abusing him in the rectory of St. Mary Church in Pavilion more than three decades ago, when Bortle was about 16. Bortle's attorney said he notified the Buffalo Diocese in January 2018. Malone said Nov. 5 that Conlin was credibly accused. The diocese offered Bortle less than $20,000 as compensation. Conlin died in 1997.
13. Peter Conroy — Malone said Nov. 5 that Conroy was credibly accused. Conroy worked at Canisius High School in Buffalo from 1965-1968 and at Canisius College from 1980-1984 and 1994-2002. The Jesuit Northeast Province said in January that Conroy, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 2002 of sexually abusing minors in 1972. He was working at Fordham University in 1972.
14. Paul R. Coppola – Malone said Nov. 5 that Coppola was credibly accused. He retired as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Portville in 1983. Coppola died in 2006.
15. James H. Cotter – The Buffalo Diocese was accused in a 2007 lawsuit of transferring Cotter to San Diego, where he was accused of molesting a 7-year-old boy in the late 1980s. The diocese did not contribute to a settlement paid to victims by the San Diego Diocese. He died in 1991. Malone said March 20 that Cotter was credibly accused.
16. Thomas Denny — Denny, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 2002 and 2012 of sexually abusing minors in the 1960s and 1970s, the Jesuit Northeast Province said in January. Denny worked in New York City schools during most of the 1960s and 70s and worked at Canisius High School in Buffalo from 1993-1995.
17. Louis S. Dolinic — The Buffalo Diocese announced Oct. 2, 2018 that Dolinic, who retired as pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in North Tonawanda in 2010, was put on leave as the diocese investigates a complaint of sexual abuse. Dolinic, 77, lives in a Depew residence for retired priests.
18. Kevin Downey — The Franciscan Friars provincial office permanently removed Downey from all public ministries in 2017 after finding an allegation of misconduct with a minor was credible. Downey was assigned at the time to a church in Triangle, Va. He had been pastor at St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany from 2000 to 2002.
19. Donald S. Fafinski — Malone said March 20 that Fafinski was credibly accused. A Boston, Mass., man told The News that Fafinski sexually abused him in the 1970s when he was a student at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean. Steve Lilly-Weber reported the abuse in 1994 and two years later reached a $28,000 settlement with the diocese.
20. Douglas F. Faraci — Malone said March 20 that Faraci was credibly accused.
21. John L. Farrand — Farrand, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 1961 of sexually abusing minors that year, the Jesuit Northeast Province said in January. At the time he was assigned to schools in New York City. Farrand worked at Canisius High School in Buffalo from 1946-1949.
22. Fred G. Fingerle — Malone said March 20 that Fingerle was credibly accused. He died in 2002.
23. Michael R. Freeman — Malone said March 20 that Freeman was credibly accused. In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse criticized the Buffalo Diocese's handling of allegations against Freeman. Freeman was moved from Buffalo churches to parishes in Pennsylvania after the Buffalo Diocese learned in 1981 that he had been involved in “criminal behavior” and “admitted inappropriate sexual behavior” with young men and children during five assignments in the Buffalo area, the grand jury alleged. Freeman was removed from the priesthood in 1989. Freeman died in 2010. The Buffalo Diocese offered a $650,000 settlement to a man who accused the priest of aiming a gun at his head and molesting him when he was a child in the 1980s, The News reported in December.
24. Joseph P. Friel – Friel was named in a July 1994 lawsuit filed by Christopher Szuflita, who said he was molested by the priest as a teenager in the late 1960s at Fourteen Holy Helpers Church in West Seneca. Friel died in 1995 and Szuflita's lawsuit was dismissed. Malone said March 20 that Friel was credibly accused. Shortly after that, Michael Stockmeyer of the Town of Tonawanda told The News he was a 10-year-old altar boy at St. Aloysius Church in Cheektowaga when Friel molested him in 1962. Szuflita in 2018 filed a new complaint with the diocese seeking compensation.
25. Mark M. Friel – Malone said March 20 that Friel was credibly accused.
26. Dennis A. Fronczak – The diocese pulled Fronczak without public explanation from Our Lady of Pompeii parish in Lancaster in 2015. In a June 18 story published by The News, Kristen Lovullo, the wife of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, accused Fronczak of fondling her when she was 9 to 12 years old at St. Stephen's School on Grand Island. The diocese announced June 28 its investigation substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against Fronczak. Malone said Nov. 5 that Fronczak had been credibly accused.
27. Raymond Fullam – Fullam, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 2009 of sexually abusing minors in 1954 and 1965, the Jesuit Northeast Province said in January. Fullam worked at Buffalo's Canisius High School from 1953-1958. He was in New York City parishes in 1965.
28. Joseph C. Gatto – The Buffalo Diocese said Sept. 27, 2018 it was investigating a misconduct complaint against Gatto, the president and rector of Christ the King Seminary, who was accused of making a sexual advance on an adult male he was counseling in 2000. The diocese placed Gatto on administrative leave. Gatto told The News he was taking of leave of absence to recover from the rigors of the job. On May 30, 2019, the diocese said the allegation against Gatto did not rise to the level that would require removal from active ministry.
29. Samuel T. Giangreco Jr. – Giangreco was put on leave Nov. 21 as the Buffalo Diocese investigated a complaint against him of sexual misconduct with an adult woman. He was an associate pastor at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna. On May 30, 2019, the diocese said the allegation against Giangreco did not rise to the level that would require removal from active ministry.
30. James Gould – Malone said Nov. 5 that Gould was credibly accused. The Jesuit Northeast Province said in January that Gould, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 2011 of sexually abusing a minor in 1977-78, when he was at St. Ann Church in Buffalo.
31. Gerald Leo Green – Malone said Nov. 5 that Green, a monsignor, was credibly accused. Green died in 2012.
32. Thomas G. Gresock – Malone said March 20 that Gresock was credibly accused.
33. John P. Hajduk – Malone said March 20 that Hajduk was credibly accused.
34. Michael J. Harrington – Malone said March 20 that Harrington was credibly accused. He died in 1989.
35. Brian M. Hatrick – Malone said March 20 that Hatrick was credibly accused. Monica Lesniak, of Cheektowaga, told The News in September that she told her parish pastor in the early 1980s that Hatrick had molested her teenage son. Six Buffalo Diocese bishops or auxiliary bishops allowed Hatrick to remain in parishes until 2007.
36. James P. Hayes – Malone said March 20 that Hayes was credibly accused. He died in 1988. The diocese initially identified the wrong James Hayes as being the priest who was accused.
37. Louis J. Hendricks – Malone said March 20 that Hendricks was credibly accused. In 2018, former altar boy Timothy J. Clark said Hendricks repeatedly abused him when he was a teenager in the 1980s and he reported the abuse to the diocese in 2010. Hendricks died in 1990.
38. Linus Hennessy – The Franciscan friar who had taught at Bishop Timon High School was accused in 2015 by Tino Flores of sexually abusing him for five years in the 1970s, beginning when Flores was 10 years old. Malone said at the time that the complaint was referred to the Order of Friars Minor. Flores provided to The News a 2013 letter from the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor stating that it did not know if Flores was abused "or the extent of any abuse on the part of Fr. Hennessy." The letter referenced the possibility of a $50,000 financial settlement. Hennessy died in 1983.
39. Roy Herberger – The Buffalo Diocese announced June 28 that Herberger, a retired priest who was the former pastor of SS. Columba-Brigid Church, was put on leave as the diocese investigates a complaint of sexual abuse. Herberger sent parishioners and friends a letter denying that he sexually assaulted a young boy in the 1980s at St. Ann's Church in Buffalo. The diocese announced in December it determined the allegation to be not credible and Herberger was returned to ministry.
40. J. Grant Higgins – Malone said March 20 that Higgins was credibly accused. He died in 2016.
41. Francis T. Hogan – Malone said March 20 that Hogan was credibly accused. He died in 2010.
42. Sylvester J. Holbel – A former superintendent of Catholic schools from 1941 to 1961, Monsignor Holbel was accused by Thomas Travers of raping him when he was 9 to 11 years old in the 1970s, when Holbel was pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Church in Orchard Park. Travers said he first reported the abuse to the diocese in 2015 and the diocese has offered him compensation for the abuse.
43. Stanley Idziak – Idziak was accused in 1988 by two brothers, Rick and Bill Larango, of sexually abusing them while serving as a priest at their parish, Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in North Tonawanda, in the 1970s. After the Larango family moved to Atlanta, Ga., Idziak arranged to be transferred to their new parish and continued to abuse the younger Larango brother, according to their mother. Janet Larango confronted Idziak in 1988 after the priest was accused of molesting two other children near Atlanta. The Atlanta Archdiocese paid $570,000 to settle a 1991 lawsuit over sexual abuse brought against it by the other Georgia family. The Larangos never sued. Malone said Nov. 5 that Idziak, a religious order priest, had been credibly accused. Idziak died in 2017.
44. Fred D. Ingalls – Ingalls pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in June 2004. He was an administrator at St. Joseph in Varysburg and St. Cecilia in Sheldon. He was sentenced to three years and one month in prison for viewing child pornography images on his church rectory computer.
45. Pascal D. Ipolito – The Buffalo Diocese announced June 28 that Ipolito, a retired priest, was put on leave as the diocese investigated a complaint of sexual abuse.
46. Florian A. Jasinski – Malone said March 20 that Jasinski was credibly accused. Jasinski died in 1983.
47. Gerald C. Jasinski – Jasinski,who was a priest at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Lancaster, was arrested June 7, 1986, on felony charges of sodomy and sexual abuse and a charge of unlawfully dealing with a child by the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office. Jasinski was accused of having sexual contact with two boys, aged 15 and 18, at a cabin in the Town of Sheldon. Jasinski pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted sexual abuse and was sentenced to five years on probation. Malone said March 20 that Jasinski was credibly accused.
48. Richard P. Judd – Malone said March 20 that Judd was credibly accused. Nick D'Amico told the Niagara Gazette that Judd abused him when he was a student at an elementary school in 1975. He first went public with the allegations in 2002. Judd died in 1988.
49. Michael P. Juran – Juran was suspended Oct. 31, 2018, as the Buffalo Diocese investigated a complaint of sexual abuse against him. On May 30, 2019, the diocese said it had substantiated the allegation and forwarded to the Vatican a case against Juran. Since 2008, he has been listed in the diocese directory as living in Valrico, Fla.
50. Paul Keeling – Malone said Nov. 5 that Keeling, a religious order priest, was credibly accused.
51. Timothy J. Kelley – Kelley was accused in a 2003 lawsuit in Florida of abusing a former altar boy who was a student at a Dunkirk school in 1983. Malone said March 20 that Kelley was credibly accused.
52. Thomas L. Kemp – Malone said March 20 that Kemp was credibly accused.
53. Richard J. Keppeler – Malone said March 20 that Keppeler was credibly accused. He died in 2011.
54. Theodore Kocian – Malone said Nov. 5 that Kocian, a religious order priest, was credibly accused.
55. Michael Kolodziej – Kolodziej was a teacher at Bishop Turner in Buffalo and St. Francis in Athol Springs, and a principal at a third school, Cardinal O'Hara in Tonawanda, in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2013 the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Order of Friars Minor Conventual announced he was removed from public ministry because a former student at a Baltimore school where Kolodziej taught from 1975 to 1979, alleged Kolodziej had molested him. Kolodziej was ordained as a Buffalo Diocese priest before he joined the Franciscan order in 1974.
56. Linus E. Kopczewski – Malone said Nov. 5 that Kopczewski, a religious order priest, was credibly accused.
57. Frederick R. Leising – A monsignor and former pastor at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence, Leising was suspended from ministry by the Buffalo Diocese in November over a complaint from Stephanie McIntyre, who alleged the priest grabbed her in 1988, forcibly kissed her and stuck his tongue in her mouth when she was 19. Leising denied any wrongdoing. The diocese cleared Leising and returned him to ministry in December.
58. John D. Lewandowski – Malone said March 20 that Lewandowski was credibly accused. He died in 1982.
59. Michael Lewandowski – Lewandowski, who taught students at two Buffalo-area Catholic high schools for more than a decade, was suspended from any public ministry in 2014 after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor. Lewandowski was a Franciscan friar in a parish in Davidsville, Pa., when the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese suspended him. The misconduct allegedly occurred during the 1980s, when he was teaching at St. Francis High School in Hamburg and at Cardinal O'Hara High School in the Town of Tonawanda. Buffalo Diocese officials declined to say whether the alleged abuse involved a child from the Buffalo area.
60. Bernard M. Mach – A civil lawsuit filed Dec. 9, 1993, accused Mach of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in the rectory of St. Mary's Church in Lockport two years before. The matter was brought before a grand jury, but it did not indict Mach. The diocese later settled a $2 million lawsuit. The Rev. John R. Aurelio told police he and Mach sodomized young boys in an East Aurora house in the 1970s. Malone said March 20 that Mach was credibly accused. He died in 2004.
61. Louis Mako – Malone said Nov. 5 that Mako was credibly accused. The Scranton (Pa.) Diocese said that a priest named Louis Mako in August 2018 had been credibly accused of sexual abuse while serving in that diocese.
62. Thomas R. Marshall – Malone said Nov. 5 that Marshall, a religious order priest, was credibly accused.
63. Loville N. Martlock – Martlock was placed on "medical leave" in April 1994 after being accused of abusing a boy between 1974 and 1978. He was no longer functioning as a priest, the diocese said in 2002. He died in 2014. Malone said March 20 that Martlock was credibly accused.
64. Fabian J. Maryanski – Diocese officials were told in 1995 by Stephanie McIntyre that Maryanski began having sexual contact with her in the 1980s, when she was about 15 or 16 and attending St. Patrick Church in Barker. The allegations did not publicly surface until May, when The News reported that the diocese had allowed Maryanski to continue to serve in churches for more than a decade. Maryanski initially denied having any sexual contact with McIntyre, but then said he had sex with her when she was in her 20s. The diocese offered McIntyre a $400,000 settlement in December. The diocese added Maryanski to its list of credibly accused priests in January and said Maryanski will remain on administrative leave as the Vatican reviews its investigation.
65. Rene Maynard – Malone said Nov. 5 that Maynard, a religious order priest, was credibly accused.
66. Thomas J. McCarthy – Malone said March 20 that McCarthy was credibly accused.
67. Francis McKenna – Malone said Nov. 5 that McKenna was credibly accused. He died in 1997.
68. Ronald B. Mierzwa – The Buffalo Diocese said in September that it suspended the longtime pastor of Holy Name of Mary Church in Ellicottville while it investigates a sexual abuse complaint. On March 21, 2019, the diocese said it had substantiated the allegation and forwarded to the Vatican a case against Mierzwa.
69. Michael Miller – Miller, a Franciscan priest who taught for several years at a Catholic high school in Athol Springs, was sentenced to five years in prison in 2013 in Connecticut on charges of possessing child pornography, obscenity and risk of injury to a minor. Miller was a pastor of a church in Kensington, Conn., when police charged him. The Hartford Courant reported that Miller had inappropriate Facebook chats with seven Connecticut teenagers, including inviting one boy to come over and watch a "dirty movie" and writing detailed descriptions about sex acts he would perform on the boy, according to court documents. Miller previously taught at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs in 1993 and again from 2000 to 2003. Officials from the Buffalo diocese said at the time of Miller's arrest that they were not aware of any allegations of misconduct against Miller during his time at St. Francis.
70. Vincent Mooney – Mooney, the former president of Buffalo's Canisius High School, was credibly accused in 2002 and 2018 of sexually abusing minors in 1959 and 1968-1970, years when he was at Canisius, the Jesuit Northeast Province said in January. One accuser told WKBW-TV that Mooney raped her in his Canisius office when she was 16 in the late 1960s, getting her pregnant, and she had an abortion. Mooney died in 1981.
71. Robert Moss – Malone said Nov. 5 that Moss was credibly accused. Moss died in 2018.
72. Loren Nys – A Salvatorian priest, Nys taught at St. Mary's High School in Lancaster from 1969 to 1987. In 2014, the Society of the Divine Savior removed him from ministry because of two complaints from 43 years before about Nys' engaging in inappropriate conduct with children. The complaints would have been from around 1970 or 1971, when he was at St. Mary's High. In March 2018, Robert Swierat told The News that Nys had molested him when he was a teenager living at the St. Mary’s rectory. Malone said Nov. 5 that Nys was credibly accused.
73. Basil A. Ormsby – Malone said March 20 that Ormsby was credibly accused. He died in 1997.
74. Norbert F. Orsolits – On Feb. 27, 2018, Michael Whalen of South Buffalo publicly accused Orsolits of sexually abusing him in 1979 or 1980, while Orsolits was at St. John Vianney parish in Orchard Park. Orsolits admitted the same day to The Buffalo News that he had sexual contact with "probably dozens" of teenage boys. Two brothers told The News that Orsolits sexually abused them in the late 1960s when he was at St. John the Baptist Church in Alden. Orsolits said the diocese sent him to Southdown Institute twice for treatment. The diocese removed Orsolits in 2003 from active ministry. Malone said March 20 that Orsolits was credibly accused.
75. Daniel J. Palys – The Buffalo Diocese announced June 28 that Palys, a retired priest, was put on leave as the diocese investigates a complaint of sexual abuse.
76. Martin L. Pavlock – Malone said March 20 that Pavlock was credibly accused. Pavlock told The Buffalo News that he had "crossed the line" once and then spent seven months in counseling at Southdown Institute. He declined to reveal any further information about the incident. He said he was not involved in any other sexual misconduct after that. The diocese removed him from public ministry in 2002.
77. Theodore "Ted" Podson – Podson, a priest of the Piarist order, taught for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Calasanctius School for gifted children in Buffalo. In 1994, Podson's name was included on an Archdiocese of Philadelphia list of priests guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to a 2012 Philadelphia Inquirer story. The Inquirer reported that Podson relocated to the Philippines after allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy. The Piarist order told the newspaper later that Podson was removed from active ministry and placed in a residential therapy center. In Buffalo, Podson was known at Calasanctius for leading weekslong field trips across the country with students. Malone said Nov. 5 that Podson was credibly accused.
78. Michael Raimondo – Malone said Nov. 5 that Raimondo was credibly accused.
79. James F. Rapp – Rapp grew up in Lockport and worked as a priest in 1979-80 at DeSales High School there. After being accused in 1987 of molesting two students at a Catholic high school in Jackson, Mich., he was sent for psychological treatment by his religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Then he was assigned as a parish priest in Duncan, Okla. He was charged with molesting two teenage boys in Oklahoma in 1999, pleaded no contest to lewd molestation, and was sentenced to two consecutive 20-year prison terms. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City paid $5 million to settle one lawsuit filed by a teen molested for five years and $1 million to settle another. In 2016, he was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison in Michigan after being charged with molesting six students at a high school in Jackson in the 1980s.
80. Joseph Rappl – Malone said Nov. 5 that Rappl was credibly accused. Jeffrey Shaw alleged that Rappl abused him in 1981, when he was 11 and Rappl was an associate pastor at in St. Peter Church in Lewiston. The diocese rejected Shaw's application for compensation, declaring him ineligible because he had not complained about the abuse before the diocese's March 1, 2018, deadline.
81. Dennis G. Riter – The diocese suspended Riter March 26 from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Dunkirk as it investigated a sexual misconduct complaint. Malone ruled the allegations were not substantiated and returned Riter to the parish in June. Matthew Golden had alleged Riter molested him between 1996 and 1999, when Golden was 10 to 13 years old and attending Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Buffalo. Golden sued the diocese in August, alleging it employed child molesters and covered up their crimes. The suit was dismissed.
82. Roy K. Ronald – Malone said March 20 that Ronald was credibly accused. He died in 2013.
83. John M. Ryan – The Buffalo Diocese said July 30 that Ryan, a retired monsignor and former superintendent of the diocese's Catholic schools, was put on leave as the diocese investigates a complaint of sexual abuse. Ryan retired in 2001 from St. Benedict parish in Eggertsville.
84. Ronald P. Sajdak – Sajdak, the pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence, was suspended from ministry in November after a man accused Sajdak of blackmailing him in the 1970s into an abusive sexual relationship that began when he was 13. Sajdak was also a teenager when it started, the accuser alleged. The diocese determined the allegation was unsubstantiated and returned Sajdak to ministry in December.
85. John J. Sardina – The diocese announced Sept. 13 that the retired priest had been placed on administrative leave as it investigates a sexual misconduct complaint against him. On March 21, 2019 the diocese announced Sardina was cleared of wrongdoing by a diocese investigation.
86. William Scanlon – Scanlon, a Jesuit, was credibly accused in 1994 of sexually abusing minors in 1985-94, the Jesuit Northeast Province said in January. Scanlon served in a parish in Nigeria during that period. He worked at Buffalo's Canisius College from 1976 to 1980.
87. Maurice Scheier – Malone said Nov. 5 that Scheier, a religious order priest, was credibly accused.
88. Joseph E. Schieder – Monsignor Schieder advised Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy on youth issues. In the 1950s and '60s, he was arguably Buffalo's most renowned Catholic priest, regularly traveling the country and abroad to speak at youth conferences. Malone said March 20 that Schieder was credibly accused. At least five men have accused Schieder of sexually abusing them when they were minors. One of the accusers accepted a $340,000 settlement offer from the diocese for abuse in the early 1960s, The News reported. He died in 1996.
89. Joseph A. Schuster – Mark Lynch of Youngstown accused Schuster of sexually abusing him when Lynch was 13 in 1968 at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel rectory in Niagara Falls. Lynch said he sent the diocese a complaint March 12. Schuster took a leave of absence from the priesthood in 1991 and resigned as executive director of the Catholic Worker Center he founded in Niagara Falls. Malone said Nov. 5 that Schuster was credibly accused. He died in 2007.
90. Gerald Sheehan – Malone said Nov. 5 that Sheehan was credibly accused. Sarah A. Shiley said the diocese offered her $360,000 in December to compensate her for years of being abused by Sheehan in the Nativity of Our Lord Church rectory in Orchard Park and at cottages when she was 7 to 14, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Sheehan died in 2006.
91. Ronald Silverio – Three brothers from South Buffalo publicly accused Silverio in July of molesting them when they were boys in the 1970s at Holy Family Church in South Buffalo and at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Niagara Falls. Silverio had his priestly faculties removed in 1981 when he became executive director of a Planned Parenthood office in Niagara Falls. Malone said Nov. 5 that Silverio was credibly accused. P.A. Kane, one of the Kane family brothers, said the diocese offered him $160,000 as compensation in December.
92. Howard Slack – Malone said Nov. 5 that Slack was credibly accused. Slack died in 1976.
93. Arthur J. Smith – The diocese pulled Smith from Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta parish in Depew in April over a complaint of childhood sexual abuse. On June 28, the diocese announced its investigation had substantiated allegations against Smith. Malone said Nov. 5 that Smith was credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
94. Robert J. Smith – Smith, who was expelled from a Buffalo-area seminary in 1959, was sued separately in 1993 and 1994 by two former altar boys over alleged sexual abuse in Santa Fe.
95. Gerald A. Smyczynski – Malone said March 20 that Smyczynski was credibly accused. He died in 1999.
96. James Smyka – Malone said Nov. 5 that Smyka, a religious order priest, was credibly accused. Smyka was working in the Syracuse Diocese as a hospital chaplain until shortly before the Buffalo Diocese’s announcement.
97. Clatus E. Snyder – Malone said Nov. 5 that Snyder, a religious order priest, was credibly accused. Snyder died in 2001.
98. James A. Spielman – A 1994 settlement about a sexual assault complaint against Spielman was revealed by The News in 2002. The alleged abuse happened in the 1970s. Spielman resigned from the priesthood. In 2016, the diocese paid $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed in Hawaii by a Texas man who alleged that Spielman molested him when he was an Archbishop Walsh High School student from 1979 through 1982, The News reported March 18. Malone said March 20 that Spielman was credibly accused.
99. Bernard Splawski – Splawski was accused in 1986 of fondling an 18-year-old male student at Bishop Timon High School. He resigned in 2003 as pastor of a New Jersey parish due to renewed complaints from the former student's family. Malone said Nov. 5 that Splawski, a religious order priest, was credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor.
100. Chester S. Stachewicz – Malone said March 20 that Stachewicz was credibly accused.
101. William G. Stanton – Malone said Nov. 5 that Stanton was credibly accused. Stanton died in 2004.
102. Robert A. Stolinski – The Buffalo Diocese announced June 28 that Stolinski, a retired priest, was put on leave as the diocese investigates a complaint of sexual abuse. On March 21, 2019 the diocese announced Stolinski was cleared of wrongdoing by a diocese investigation.
103. Harry Richard Strassberger - Malone said Nov. 5 that Strassberger was credibly accused. Strassberger died in 1999.
104. Edward Townsend – Gary Astridge said he was 7 when Townsend first molested him outside of Cardinal Dougherty High School in Buffalo, where Townsend taught from 1963 to 1969. He said Townsend later raped him inside the school and in Crystal Beach, Ont. He complained to the Buffalo Diocese in 2006. Another man who grew up in Buffalo in the 1960s told The News that Townsend sexually abused him at Cardinal Dougherty when he was 7 and 8.
105. Samuel J. Venne – The diocese suspended Venne from public ministry in April over a complaint of childhood sexual abuse. Venne, who is retired, had been celebrating Masses at St. Stephen Church on Grand Island. In June, the diocese announced that its investigation substantiated allegations against Venne. Malone said Nov. 5 that Venne was credibly accused.
106. Joseph J. Vogel – The founding pastor of Queen of Heaven Church in West Seneca, Vogel was accused by a woman of molesting her when she was 12. She told The News in February 2019 that the diocese had recently offered her $75,000 compensation. She said the abuse happened in 1970 in the Queen of Heaven rectory.
107. Edward J. Walker – Malone said March 20 that Walker was credibly accused. Denis Riley, a former Dunkirk resident living in Florida, told The News that Walker sexually abused him multiple times in the sacristy of St. Joseph's parish in Fredonia where he was an altar boy. He said he told Buffalo Diocese officials about the abuse in 1999. Walker, a monsignor, served as pastor at Holy Name of Jesus in Buffalo until he retired in 1981. He died in 2002.
108. William G. Ward – Malone said March 20 that Ward was credibly accused. He died in 2008.
109. Charles M. Werth – Werth was charged in 1994 and 2004 after incidents in Ellicott Creek Park. In the earlier case, he was charged with sexual abuse and pleaded guilty to exposure, a violation. In the latter incident, the then-retired priest was charged with public lewdness and afterward removed from active ministry. The diocese said neither allegation involved young people. Malone said Nov. 5 that Werth was credibly accused. He died in 2017.
110. William F.J. White – White was placed on leave in February 1993 after he was accused of sexual abuse. He was no longer functioning as a priest, the diocese said in 2002. Malone said March 20 that White was credibly accused. He died in 2016.
111. Mark J. Wolski – The Buffalo Diocese announced May 31 that Wolski, who served at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Hamburg before retiring in 2012, was put on leave as the diocese investigates a complaint of sexual abuse. Wolski used to to serve on a diocesan board that reviewed sexual abuse allegations and determined settlement amounts.The diocese added Wolski to its list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors in January and said Wolski will remain on administrative leave as the Vatican reviews the investigation.
112. Robert W. Wood – Wood was removed as pastor of St. Joseph in Varysburg in 2003 after being accused of sexually abusing a minor. At the time, he said it involved an alleged incident that happened 16 years prior. Malone said March 20 that Wood was credibly accused.
113. Robert Yetter – Yetter resigned as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Swormville after the diocese received a misconduct complaint against him that “may involve a minor.” A report by WKBW-TV included internal church documents showing that Yetter was previously accused of making unwanted sexual advances on two adult men. The report prompted two diocese deacons and a handful of Catholic politicians to call on Malone to resign as bishop. The diocese said May 30, 2019 that a child sexual abuse allegation against Yetter was not substantiated but he will remain on administrative leave as it investigates allegations of adult sexual abuse .
Contact Mike McAndrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 849-3448.
Story topics: Clergy sex cases