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Buffalo

A clergy abuse scandal roiling the Buffalo Diocese for nearly two years was on the cusp of entering a new phase on Wednesday, with the Vatican expected to announce that Bishop Richard J. Malone is stepping down. Two sources confirmed Tuesday that diocese officials were organizing a news conference to address Malone’s departure, which is expected to be announced by the V…

Buffalo

Bishop Richard J. Malone will request an “early retirement” and exit as head of the Buffalo Diocese, a source told The Buffalo News on Monday, following an earlier report that Pope Francis was expected to accept Malone’s resignation on Wednesday. Malone, 73, has resisted calls for his resignation for more than a year over his handling of a clergy sex abuse crisis that n…

Buffalo

Richard Watroba grew tired of waiting for leaders of the Buffalo Diocese to acknowledge they had protected the Rev. James E. McCarthy. He decided to force the issue earlier this month, filing a lawsuit that accuses McCarthy of sexually abusing him, beginning in 1973 when he was a 10-year-old altar boy. The suit claims the diocese hid McCarthy’s alleged abuses. “I wan…

Buffalo

A former Park School of Buffalo student sued the private school this week, alleging a teacher there sexually assaulted him 39 years ago. This is the first Child Victims Act lawsuit filed against the Park School, which 11 months ago issued an investigative report that said 12 of its former teachers had been credibly accused of inappropriate conduct with students. Leon…

Amherst

Over the past two months, men and women filed 294 Child Victims Acts lawsuits in Western New York, alleging that they were molested as children by priests, teachers, school administrators or others. In more than two-thirds of those cases – 199 of them – the plaintiffs want their names to be kept secret. Those requests for anonymity have ignited a legal battle in Buff…

Courts

Michael Tatu felt some relief 51 years ago when the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits was transferred from St. John the Evangelist Church. Tatu said he grew fearful of Orsolits after the priest molested him at a drive-in theater when he was 14. But the priest who replaced Orsolits, the Rev. William F. J. White, turned out to be no better for Tatu. Tatu, 65, said White sexu…

Buffalo

The Buffalo Diocese removed the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits from a South Buffalo Catholic parish in 1968, shortly after parents complained that Orsolits had molested a 14-year-old boy in the back seat of his car at a drive-in theater. But Orsolits quickly wound up in another Buffalo parish. And he went on to molest other boys across Western New York, according to severa…

Courts

A retired Niagara Falls junior high school teacher who was prosecuted four decades ago for having sex with a student is being sued by two former students who say he molested them as children. Social studies teacher Frank Carter repeatedly sexually assaulted the two girls, aged 13 and 15, during the 1976-1977 school year, according to lawsuits filed Friday against Carter…

Buffalo

The Child Victims Act is unconstitutional, and a decades-old childhood sexual abuse case filed under the new law should be dismissed, a Catholic religious order is asserting. The Province of St. Anthony of Padua of the Conventual Franciscans and related entities have asked a State Supreme Court judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the Rev. Mark Andrzejczuk of sexually ab…

Business

A Chicago-based insurance company has launched an opening salvo in what are expected to be bruising legal battles between the Buffalo Diocese and its insurers over payouts on clergy sex abuse claims under the Child Victims Act and the legal costs of defending the diocese against the claims. Continental Insurance Company is arguing in court papers that insurance policies…

Buffalo

For nearly 30 consecutive years, Most Precious Blood Parish in Angola had priests accused of molesting boys assigned to work at the church and its elementary school. But lawsuits filed Tuesday allege a former female teacher, Dianna Vacco, sexually abused two girls who were in her Most Precious Blood School class decades ago. An Angola woman’s lawsuit accuses Vacco of…

Crime

Linda Ulrich-Hagner was a teacher at Kenmore West High School in the late 1970s when she heard rumors about inappropriate behavior by teachers toward students. She remembers warning female students to stay away from those coaches, to make sure they weren't around them alone and to steer clear of places like the equipment room. But, the retired teacher said, "I never …

Courts

It's not just priests being accused. Since the Child Victims Act went into effect, dozens of lawsuits have been filed in Western New York against public school districts by former students who say teachers or other school staff sexually abused them as minors. Joining those ranks are two women who attended Kenmore West High School in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Scho…

Buffalo

The Rev. Arthur J. Smith, who has been a magnet for controversy in the Buffalo Diocese clergy abuse scandal, is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy 43 years ago during a field trip to Washington, D.C., for eighth-grade students from a local Catholic school. The boy and his two sisters were permitted by the principal at St. Bernadette Elementary Sc…

Amherst

A former Amherst High School student has sued the Amherst Central School District, alleging she was sexually abused by a guidance counselor who later became the school’s dean of students. The lawsuit names John “Jack” Koch as the abuser. Koch, a teacher’s aide at the time whom the district allowed to work as a guidance counselor, sexually abused the girl for about tw…