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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.


Buffalo

Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone put four more priests on leave due to complaints of sexual abuse, said allegations against three other priests were substantiated and exonerated a fourth priest who had been suspended in March. A diocesan investigation determined that the allegations against the Rev. Dennis G. Riter, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Du…

Local News

A retired Buffalo priest who was recently put on administrative leave wrote a letter this week vehemently denying that he sexually assaulted a young boy in the 1980s. The Rev. Roy Herberger, the former pastor of SS. Columba-Brigid Church, said in the letter that he contacted a lawyer after the Diocese of Buffalo put him on administrative leave due to the abuse complaint…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Diocese priest recently investigated by the Erie County District Attorney's Office due to a complaint of inappropriate touching has been identified as the Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski, who already was on administrative leave due to a previous allegation of sexual contact with a teenage girl. Maryanski, 77, was not charged in the recent investigation, nor did he …

Local News

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is pulling the plug on its award-winning Daybreak TV Productions. The diocese announced on its website Friday that eight Daybreak TV employees will be laid off in July as part of an effort to cut costs. The diocese also will shut down a campus ministry program at the State University of New York at Fredonia. Daybreak TV developed a nat…

Crime

Only five of the more than 60 priests who served in the Diocese of Buffalo and have been linked to allegations of sex crimes involving children have actually been charged with crimes. Prosecuted were: Benedict P. Barszcz – A former assistant pastor of St. Peter's in Lewiston, he was charged in July 1999 with exposing himself to two teenage girls in Buffalo. Subsequen…

Featured

The Erie County District Attorney's Office found no grounds to charge a Diocese of Buffalo priest, following a complaint from a girl that the priest had touched her inappropriately this past January. "While his conduct wasn't criminal, I would say, to me, his conduct was creepy," District Attorney John J. Flynn said at a news conference Wednesday. "I wouldn't say this w…

Religion

A Buffalo priest removed in 2015 from a Lancaster parish due to an allegation of inappropriate behavior with a child was the target of similar complaints decades ago at two other parishes. A 37-year-old woman who is married to a Major League Baseball manager and now lives in Phoenix, Ariz., said the Rev. Dennis A. Fronczak repeatedly fondled her when she was 9 to 12 yea…

Erie County

Nearly three years ago, the Buffalo Diocese abruptly removed the Rev. Dennis A. Fronczak as pastor of Our Lady of Pompeii Church in Lancaster. Nobody at the parish was told why. A diocese representative announced Fronczak's departure at Masses at the church in October 2015, recalled Dick Wagner, 80, a long-time parishioner. "He told us Father Dennis was going on a…

Buffalo

John A. Polvino took a giant step out of the shadows after the Diocese of Buffalo announced in March it was creating a new fund to compensate victims sexually abused by its priests. For 43 years, Polvino, an Amherst resident, said he had been too ashamed to say a word about being assaulted as a child by the Rev. Donald Becker. "There's the fear that you think you're …

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 medi…

Local News

It's been a difficult past few months for Bishop Richard J. Malone. A retired priest's admission in February that he had molested dozens of boys triggered a cascade of other sexual abuse allegations against Buffalo area clergy. It also thrust Malone into the middle of the historical cover up of abuse by the hierarchy of the Buffalo Diocese. As new revelations of abuses …

Education

The hazing-related death of Amherst resident and Canisius High School graduate Nolan M. Burch will be included in an episode of the NBC News magazine show "Dateline" set to air at 7 p.m. Sunday. https://buffalonews.com/2015/11/13/a-year-after-his-death-nolan-burchs-parents-find-purpose-while-looking-for-answers/ Kim and Theron "TJ" Burch are among a group of 16 paren…

Local News

Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone will ordain four graduates of Christ the King Seminary to the Catholic priesthood at a 9:30 a.m. Mass Saturday, June 2 in St. Joseph Cathedral, 50 Franklin St. The new priest candidates are: Peter Nsa Bassey, Paul S. Cygan, Peter Santandreu and Gerard Skrzynski. Bassey is a native of Nigeria who studied theology at Providence …

Local News

When a mother complained that the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits propositioned her teenage son in a bar, the Diocese of Buffalo quietly sent him away for mental health therapy and listed him as "on leave" in its official 1979 directory. Then, within months, the diocese reassigned him to a new parish, where he later was accused of molesting at least two boys. Orsolits isn't…

Construction and Growth

Local historic preservationists are stepping up efforts to derail the state's current plan for a new downtown train station. The state Department of Transportation wants to build a new $25 million train station by 2020 at the same location as the current Exchange Street station. But some preservationists said the state's plan misses a golden opportunity to build a be…