Fr. James Cotter – Diocese of Buffalo

Father James Cotter

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1950

Died: 1991

Assigned as follows:

  • 1951                St. Mary’s (Little Valley, NY)
  • 1952-1955      St. Aloysius Gonzaga (Cheektowaga, NY)
  • 1956-1958      Most Precious Blood (Angola, NY)
  • 1959-1965      St. Cecilia (Oakfield, NY)
  • 1966-1978      Our Lady of Lourdes (Bemus Point, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father James Cotter:

Father James Cotter worked for the Diocese of Buffalo until he retired in 1978 and moved to San Diego. According to media reports, allegations of child sexual abuse in Buffalo did not surface until after his death in 1991. In 2003, a civil suit filed in California naming both the Diocese of San Diego and the Diocese of Buffalo, alleged he abused a 7-year-old boy for four years, during private counseling sessions while a student at Nazareth Catholic Elementary School in San Diego in the late 1980s. At least two other victims in California have come forward.

In March 2007, his name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.  In October 2010, as part of a settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of San Diego released his personnel file. In March 2018, Father Cotter’s name was included in the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of priests who “were removed from ministry, were retired, or left ministry after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.” The list includes deceased priests only if they have more than one allegation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Buffalo, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to to discuss your options today.