Father James Cotter
Diocese of San Diego
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)
- 1962-1978: Our Lady of Lourdes(Bemus Point, NY)
- 1979-1991: Retired
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Cotter:
Father James Cotter was ordained a priest in 1950, who served in the Diocese of Buffalo until he retired in 1978 and moved to the Diocese of 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 Father Cotter 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.
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