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Jay Tokasz

Jay Tokasz is part of the watchdog team at The Buffalo News. He has spent 25 years in newspapers, writing on a wide range of subjects, from evidence-tampering cops to papal elections.


Courts

Twenty-five years after being sent to prison for sexually abusing his 10-year-old daughter, Thomas D. Skowronski faces more legal fallout over his crimes. Andrea D’Alimonte, now 35, recently sued Skowronski, her father, under the state’s Child Victims Act. D’Alimonte also named her mother, Patricia L. Saar, as a defendant. D’Alimonte said suing her parents gives her a c…

Courts

A priest who for years oversaw the legacy of Father Nelson H. Baker – the Buffalo Diocese’s sainthood candidate – is accused in two recently filed lawsuits of sexually abusing boys in Our Lady of Victory programs he oversaw. A 76-year-old Depew man alleged in one of the filings that Monsignor Joseph M. McPherson molested him in 1951, when he was 8 years old and living a…

Dunkirk

The Rev. Dennis G. Riter, a Dunkirk pastor who was accused of sex abuse in two Child Victims Act lawsuits despite a Buffalo Diocese investigation that cleared him of the claims, died Saturday in Buffalo General Hospital after a brief illness. He was 74. Riter was the longtime pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Dunkirk. He was the first active priest in the Buff…

Education

Christ the King Seminary, which for 163 years trained men to become Catholic priests, will be shut down in May at the end of the current academic year, as the Buffalo Diocese slashes costs amid a clergy sex abuse scandal that’s led to a dramatic downturn in giving. The Rev. Kevin Creagh, seminary rector and president, announced the decision on campus this afternoon to f…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Diocese ended its 2019 fiscal year $5 million in the red, due primarily to a big decline in donations amid a scandal over clergy sexual abuse from decades ago. Donations in 2019 fell by nearly a third compared to 2018, according to a Buffalo News analysis of the diocese’s latest financial statements. A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is “imminent,” the dioce…

Local News

A lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses a deceased Buffalo Diocese priest of wearing clerical garb while he sexually assaulted a teenage boy more than 100 times in the mid-1980s. An unnamed plaintiff alleged that Monsignor John L. Ducette, who was pastor of St. Timothy Church in the Town of Tonawanda, began sexually abusing him in 1986 when he was 13. It is the first time Du…

Buffalo

The lifelong impacts of childhood sexual abuse will be the topic of a public forum from 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Child Advocacy Center, 768 Delaware Ave. The event, "Enlighten & Empower: An Evening with Survivors," is sponsored by the Buffalo Survivors Group, formed by five men who have filed lawsuits under the Child Victims Act alleging sexual abuse by Buffalo D…

Buffalo

A gym teacher who left a Catholic school in South Buffalo in the 1960s after being accused of molesting a boy moved to another parochial school a mile away, according to the plaintiff in a recent lawsuit filed against the Buffalo Diocese. John Maloney of West Seneca said Robert F. “Ollie” Weber left St. Thomas Aquinas parochial school shortly after his parents complaine…

Wendy Suzuki, author and professor of neural science and psychology at New York University, will be featured speaker for the WomanUP 2020 Conference on Jan. 30 at 500 Pearl. The conference will focus on the brain and movement, with Suzuki highlighting the scientific evidence for what habits make people happiest. It is open to anyone seeking to make changes in their live…

Courts

An 87-year-old Erie County man is suing the Buffalo Diocese, alleging that he was abused in the early 1940s by a Catholic priest and two nuns at a Catholic school in Silver Creek. The man claimed in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Erie County State Supreme Court that Monsignor Edmund O’Connor and Sister Mary and Sister Veronica “engaged in unpermitted, forcible and harmful …

Courts

A Buffalo priest who was accused in a Child Victims Act lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy in the 1980s is firing back with a lawsuit of his own that alleges his accuser lied about the abuse and slandered the priest. The Rev. Roy T. Herberger, former longtime pastor of SS. Columba & Brigid Church, filed the defamation suit Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Erie Count…

Courts

A teacher at the Park School in Snyder who was accused of taking showers with students at his home is now named in a lawsuit claiming he sexually abused a student at the school in the early 1970s. A Pennsylvania man alleged in a recent Child Victims Act lawsuit that E. Webster Dann molested him when he was a student at the Park School from 1972 to 1974. Dann taught m…

Buffalo

A Buffalo firefighter was treated and released from Erie County Medical Center after being injured at the scene of a fire Saturday night in South Buffalo. The fire at 43 Southside Parkway caused $275,000 in damage. Firefighters were called to the multi-unit building around 10:15 p.m. The fire started in the basement, according to fire investigators. The Red Cross …

Local News

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is getting slammed to the turf on Twitter for supporting Republican Beth Parlato in her bid to replace former Rep. Chris Collins for New York’s 27th District seat in Congress. Kelly’s tweet on Saturday endorsing Parlato brought a blitz of replies, some of which sacked the beloved former Buffalo Bill for entering the political fray in s…

Local News

The lake-effect snow warnings for southern Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties, originally posted until 4 a.m. Monday, were canceled Sunday evening as snows tapered down. Perrysburg and Colden led the list of snowiest spots in Western New York when the National Weather Service updated snowfall totals at 10:30 p.m. Sunday. The NWS reported that a co-op obs…