The Diocese of Rochester denied it was previously aware of sexual abuse allegations against four priests that advocates for abuse victims identified Wednesday as being accused of abuse.
Allegations against a fifth priest named Wednesday at a news conference were investigated and found to be unsubstantiated, according to a diocesan statement distributed to Rochester media outlets.
New Jersey-based victim advocate Robert M. Hoatson held similar news conferences in Buffalo to name accused local priests and criticize diocesan officials for their handling of alleged abuse cases.
Hoatson was joined Wednesday in a news conference at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester by Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian and former Diocese of Erie priest James Falusczak.
Garabedian represents several victims accusing the Rochester-area priests. Four priests identified Wednesday were retired, deceased or no longer in ministry. The fifth priest – with allegations the diocese determined were unsubstantiated – serves as parochial administrator at churches in Tioga County.
The Rochester diocese lists on its website the names of 23 priests accused of abuse.
Story topics: Clergy sex cases