Fr. James Spielman – Diocese of Buffalo

Father James A. Spielman 

Diocese of Buffalo

James Spielman Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1970

Resigned: 1993

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1972-1977 St. Aloysius (Springville, NY)
  • 1978 St. Patrick (Salamanca, NY)
  • 1979-1983 Archbishop Walsh High School (Olean, NY)
  • 1984-1986 St. Mary (Canaseraga, NY)
  • 1987-1989 St. Peter & Paul (Jamestown, NY)
  • 1991-1993 St. Mary Church (Canaseraga, NY) 
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (Portageville, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Spielman: 

In 1993, Father James A. Spielman was accused of sexually abusing a child. The victim claimed that Father Spielman abused him for 4 straight years when he was an altar boy in the 1970’s.  The Diocese of Buffalo reached a settlement with the alleged victim in 1994. Reports say that Bishop Edward D. Head knew about allegations of abuse at a Jamestown parish in 1989, and Spielman was simply sent to a treatment center 6 months later. He was allowed to return to ministry after completing treatment at St. Mary Church in Canaseraga, NY. After the allegations surfaced against him, Spielman resigned from priesthood and moved to Alaska that same year. In 2011, reports of him possibly living in Naalehu, Hawaii and continuing to work at a few Hawaii parishes surfaced. In 2016, another settlement was made for $1.5 million dollars with a former Walsh student claiming abuse by Father Spielman from ages 14-17. The suit was filed against Buffalo and Honolulu Diocese, Walsh High School and Southdown Institute in Toronto, where Spielmen was sent for “treatment.” It has been the largest single settlement that has come to light so far in the Buffalo Diocese for a clergy sex abuse case. His name has been included on the updated Diocese of Buffalo list of accused priests since March of 2018. As of recently, he has been included in a lawsuit filed in August of 2019, under the New York Child Victims Act. The victim claiming that Spielman molested him multiple times from 1971 to 1976 when he was a parishioner of St. Aloysius Church in Springville. The second case is still pending against him. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New York, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at