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Courts

Michael W. McGuire made Blasdell history in 1978 when he was sworn in as the village’s youngest mayor at 27.  That was also the year he began sexually abusing two of his students at Immaculata Academy, according to allegations in two lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act. He began abusing a third student the following year, according to a third lawsuit. The form…

Courts

For nearly 40 years, Paul Henry Regdos’ daughter said, she has lived with the aftermath of years of sexual abuse and rape by her father that began when she was 5 years old. It was not until last week — when she sued her father under the state’s Child Victims Act — that something shifted within her. “This is the most powerful thing I’ve ever done in my life, and a…

Buffalo

It took Ann Fossler more than 25 years to reveal that she had been repeatedly molested when she was as young as 6 years old. Fossler said she first confided in a counselor in the 1980s that a Buffalo Diocese Catholic priest who was a close family friend sexually abused her for several years and that she kept it secret because she feared her parents, who adored the pries…

Buffalo

Buffalo News readers have asked a number of questions since Wednesday, when the Child Victims Act opened a one-year window for filing civil lawsuits over old allegations of childhood sexual abuse. The questions ranged from why the look-back is only a year long to why steps are not being taken against the Vatican. To answer the questions, The News gathered information…

Buffalo

Melanie H. Blow was 13 years old and could not find the words to say that two of her relatives had sexually abused her. She didn't tell anyone for more than a decade. She has since made it her life’s work to stop other children from being abused. "People need to realize how common this is," said Blow, a former Attica resident who is a top executive at the national…

Amherst

There were 105 Child Victims Act lawsuits against religious organizations in Western New York in the first two days those cases could be filed. But only two of them targeted religious organizations that are not Catholic. One lawsuit was filed against a Lutheran organization and a former Lutheran religion teacher who allegedly raped and molested a 13-year-old girl at …

Local News

Daniel Traina joined the Boy Scouts when he was 12 years old so he could go on more overnight camping trips, like the ones he took with his family in Allegany State Park. Within months of signing up for a troop based at a Lutheran church in North Tonawanda, Traina said he was molested by an assistant Scout leader. For decades, Traina, 56, blamed himself. But on Wedne…

Courts

Two pastors in active ministry who were accused in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed Wednesday have been placed on administrative leave, the Diocese of Buffalo announced Thursday. Monsignor Peter Popadick, pastor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church in Cheektowaga, and the Rev. Paul Nogaro, pastor of St. Stephen's Church on Grand Island, have been placed "on administrative leave f…

Buffalo

As recently as 19 months ago, Jonpaul Okal did not believe he would ever see a day of reckoning. He would remember the shock of his own pain at unexpected times – before sleep at night, or on long drives in the car, or after some item in the news triggered memories of the attack. “I didn’t know where he was," Okal said of then-Rev. Norbert Orsolits, the priest he says s…

Buffalo

Lawyers on Wednesday filed more than 100 lawsuits in Western New York courts alleging child sex abuse by Catholic priests and nuns, Boy Scout leaders, teachers, a choir director, a neighbor and family members. The vast majority of the lawsuits accused Buffalo Diocese priests of molesting children decades ago, including one case that dates back to 1948. Several priests w…

Courts

A Cheektowaga pastor who was a top assistant to a former Buffalo Diocese bishop is one of six men named in one of the nearly 100 Child Victims Act lawsuits filed early Wednesday in Erie and Niagara counties. Monsignor Peter Popadick, 74, pastor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church and the secretary for former Bishop Edward D. Head, is accused of being one of four priests who …

Buffalo

Retired parole officer Angelo J. Ervolina said he first met Bishop James A. McNulty in 1965 on his newspaper route, which included the bishop's mansion on Oakland Place. Ervolina said he proudly told the bishop he was heading soon on a trip to New York City with his parish pastor, Monsignor Michael J. Harrington. But when the bishop asked him later about the trip, Er…

Buffalo

Below are summaries of the 115 Child Victims Act lawsuits filed this week in five Western New York counties over old allegations of sexual abuse. Nearly all of the people accused of molesting children were Catholic priests, and the Buffalo Diocese is a defendant in at least 104 lawsuits. But the Boy Scouts of America, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, the East Aurora …

Crime

New York's Child Victims Act, which was signed into law Feb. 14, gives survivors of child sexual abuse more time to seek justice in the courts in several ways. At 12:01 a.m. Aug. 14, a one-year window opens that allows any adult survivor of child sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit against an abuser or the institution that employed the abuser, no matter how long ago th…

Buffalo

Forty-nine years ago he was told he should be excommunicated when he reported that a priest at Fourteen Holy Helpers Church in West Seneca had molested him. Twenty-five years ago he was told that he couldn't sue the priest or the church because the statue of limitations on such cases had run out. On Wednesday, just after the stroke of midnight, Chris Szuflita saw a m…