Tag: Buffalo sexual abuse attorney

Msgr. Leo McCarthy – Diocese of Buffalo

Msgr. Leo McCarthy

Diocese of Buffalo

Leo McCarthy Horowitz law

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Msgr. Leo McCarthy:

In July 2021, a lawsuit was filed in New York State court alleging that a woman was sexually abused by Monsignor Leo McCarthy of the Diocese of Buffalo in the early 1980s.

According to the lawsuit, the woman, now 51, alleges that she was abused by McCarthy over the course of several months in 1982, when she was 12 years old.  She says that McCarthy showed her pornography and engaged her in sexual contact, including sexual intercourse in the sacristy at St. Matthew parish in Buffalo.  The abuse continued until her mother suspected she was pregnant, at which time she told her mom about what McCarthy was doing.  She also says that she tried to tell a teacher about the abuse, but the teacher did not believe her; she was expelled from the school not long after, which she says was retaliation by McCarthy for reporting her abuse.

McCarthy is now retired but continued to assist with services at Blessed Sacrament in Tonawanda.  Upon learning of the allegation, the Buffalo Diocese says that it suspended McCarthy’s faculties to minister and placed him on administrative leave pending investigation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo in New York.  The Diocese of Buffalo filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Buffalo Diocese.  

Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Aux. Bishop Edward Grosz – Diocese of Buffalo

Aux. Bishop Edward Grosz

Diocese of BuffaloBishop Grosz Horowitz Law

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz:

In July 2021, retired Buffalo Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz was named in a lawsuit filed by a man who says that Grosz sexually abused him in approximately 1990 when the man was just 15 years old.  According to the lawsuit, the abuse occurred at St. Brigid parish in Bergen, New York. Media reports indicate that the abuse occurred after a confirmation service for the boy.

The lawsuit also alleges that Fr. Richard Keppeler abused the boy for several years at St. Brigid prior to the abuse by Grosz.  The victim told news reporters that he hoped to report Keppeler’s abuse to Bishop Grosz and bring an end to it, but instead Grosz sexually abused him too.

In response to the allegations, the Diocese of Buffalo says that Grosz voluntarily surrendered his faculties to minister during the Diocese’s internal investigation of the allegation.  Though he retired several years ago, Grosz continued to perform sacraments and celebrate masses on occasion.

Grosz is the highest ranking official in the Diocese of Buffalo to be accused of sexually abusing a minor, but his involvement in the Diocese’s child sexual abuse scandal is not new information. Grosz was personally named in the November 2020 lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Buffalo by the New York Attorney General. That lawsuit, which is still ongoing, accuses Bishop Richard Malone and Grosz of “protecting more than two dozen priests accused of child sexual abuse by not referring their cases to the Vatican for potential removal from the priesthood,” and “misusing charitable assets by supporting priests who they knew had likely sexually abused minors.”

Grosz, now 76, will remain on suspension pending the Diocese’s investigation of the matter. Given his position in the Catholic Church hierarchy, it is likely that the Archdiocese of New York will become involved in the matter, as is required by internal church policies.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo in New York.  The Diocese of Buffalo filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Buffalo Diocese.  

Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Diocese of Buffalo – Bankruptcy Records

Release of Records in Diocese of Buffalo Bankruptcy  

 

The Diocese of Buffalo filed for Bankruptcy in February of 2020. There’s a question as to whether or not records in the Diocese of Buffalo Bankruptcy case will be released. There are more than 25,000 pages of internal Buffalo Diocese documents relating to clergy abuse, diocesan finances, and personnel files that are being reviewed by lawyers and survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Whether the diocese’s confidential files on clergy abuse will be released to the public is unknown. However, there has been an agreement in terms of the survivors of sexual abuse keeping the files confidential in addition to not pursuing any legal suits against individual parishes and other Catholic entities if they want to see the files for themselves.

In the early 2000s, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles had the largest release of internal church files. There were a ton of victims of sexual abuse that sued under legislation in California that suspended the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. However, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not declare bankruptcy and it agreed to the disclosures as part of a global settlement with victims.

As for the Diocese of Buffalo, “The diocesan bankruptcy cases in New York could be different, because the Child Victims Act window that suspended the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases continues until Aug. 14, giving abuse survivors some leverage in negotiations with diocese lawyers”, the CEO and legal director of Child USA said.

As of now, the diocese has to produce the files for the creditors’ committee by January 31st, 2021. The files in which the committee has requested in part of their agreement are comprised of the diocese’s finances and files regarding sexual abuse. 

“Ultimately, survivors and victims want to see these documents made public. “That is a primary concern of victims and survivors because the documents represent the truth, and they will help victims trying to heal”, an Attorney said.

On January 15th, 2021, the new leader of the Diocese of Buffalo will be installed and will make the decision of releasing the diocese’s confidential files on clergy abuse.

https://buffalonews.com/news/local/trove-of-buffalo-diocese-abuse-records-turned-over-to-victims-in-bankruptcy-court/article_a43dd8ce-4e9a-11eb-bb44-93864abd9851.html

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York. The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Buffalo if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

Fr. Donald Lutz – Diocese of Buffalo

Father Donald Lutz 

Diocese of Buffalo 

Donald Lutz  Diocese of Buffalo Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1970

Assigned as Follows:

  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (Buffalo, NY)
  • St. Leo the Great (Amherst, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Donald Lutz: 

Father Donald Lutz was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Buffalo in 1970. According to media reports, in July 2020, a lawsuit was filed accusing him of repeated “unpermitted sexual contact” with a 13-year-old girl from 1975 to 1976. The lawsuit was filed under the Child Victims Act, in which the statute of limitations for a survivor of child sex abuse can be extended. The girl was a parishioner at St. Leo the Great in Amherst, where Father Lutz was assigned.

A second woman also claimed Father Lutz sexually abused her as a minor in the 1970s.  She is not filing a lawsuit, but did contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator regarding the priest’s behavior. In October 2020, Father Lutz was placed on administrative leave by Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, pending an investigation into two allegations of sexual abuse from the 1970s. He was the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church at the time. Father Lutz denied both allegations, and claimed he was not made aware of the allegations against him until months later.  In August 2021, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that its internal review board determination that allegations of sexual abuse by Donald Lutz  at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in South Buffalo were substantiated. Lutz has been assigned to “permanent administrative leave” according to the Diocese.

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 adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com   

Fr. Peter Karalus – Diocese of Buffalo

Father Peter Karalus

Diocese of Buffalo

Peter Karalus Diocese of Buffalo Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1997

Placed on Leave: 2020

Returned to ministry: 2020

Assigned as Follows:

  • Epiphany of Our Lord Parish (Langford, NY)
  • St. Gabriel (Elma, NY)
  • St. Joseph and St. Mary Parishes (Albion, NY)
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Lake View, NY)
  • St. Vincent (North Evans, NY)
  • St. John Paul II Parish (Lake View, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Peter Karalus:

According to media reports, in March of 2020, Father Peter Karalus was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. He is one of the closest aides to acting Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, and was placed on administrative leave while an independent investigator looked into the allegations made against him. The claim involved an incident that allegedly took place in 2011. According to authorities, Father Karalus denies the allegation against him.

“The complaint that we received refers only to some words that were allegedly stated by Father Karalus during a confession,” according to one of his attorneys. Father Karalus claims that he did not recall the conversation that was referenced in the complaint, but does admit that he recalls the young man and his family. Father Karalus was serving at St. John Paul II Parish in Lakeview when the alleged incident occurred. As vicar general and moderator of the curia for the diocese, Father Karalus holds one of the highest positions in the Buffalo Diocese. While the investigation was underway, Father Karalus had the ability to attend Mass, but was not allowed to function as the Diocese’s number two administrator. 

In May 2020, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that Father Karalus would be returned to active ministry with full faculties.  According to Bishop Scharfenberger, his internal review board determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated and the Bishop elected to return Father Karalus to ministry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York.  The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

Fr. Mark Wolski – Diocese of Buffalo

Fr. Mark Wolski

Diocese of BuffaloMark Wolski Diocese of Buffalo Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1967

Retired: 2012

Removed: 2018

Assignments in the Diocese of Buffalo:

  • St. Jude (Sardinia, NY)
  • St. Barnabas (Depew, NY)
  • St. Florian (Buffalo, NY)
  • Children’s Hospital chaplain (Buffalo, NY)
  • St. Joseph’s New Cathedral (Buffalo, NY) – in residence
  • Sheehan Residence (Buffalo, NY) – in residence
  • Blessed Sacrament (Buffalo, NY) – in residence
  • St. James Major (Westfield, NY)
  • St. John the Evangelist (Buffalo, NY)
  • SS. Peter and Paul (Hamburg, NY)
  • Diocesan Finance Council
  • Diocesan Review Board
  • Diocesan Council of Priests

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Mark Wolski:

According to media reports, in May 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that it placed Father Mark Wolski on a temporary leave following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor.  At the time, he was a retired priest who continued to exercise his ministry.  Among his other assignments, Father Wolski served on the Diocese of Buffalo’s internal review board, the mechanism by which the Diocese internally evaluates allegations of abuse to determine if they can be substantiated or not.

The alleged victim reported that Father Wolski sexually abused him over the course of two years, starting in 1968 when the victim was 15.  At the time of the abuse, Father Wolski was assigned to St. Barnabas in Depew.  The victim said he was also abused at Father Wolski’s cottage in Angola, New York.

In late 2018, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that the allegation against Father Wolski was substantiated. His name now appears on the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of credibly accused priests. According to the Diocese, it is aware of one substantiated allegation against him.  His fate as a priest is now in the hands of the Vatican.

In April 2020, Father Wolski was one of 23 priests removed off of the Diocese of Buffalo’s payroll through an agreement it reached with survivors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York. The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Buffalo if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

diocese of buffalo sexual abuse

Diocese of Buffalo Returns Two Accused Priests Back to the Ministry

In a puzzling and potentially reckless move, two Buffalo diocesan priests who are accused, in a civil lawsuit, of molesting a child have been put back into ministry.

If history is any guide, we suspect this is a decision that may well come back to haunt Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.

His public relations staff claim that the accusations against the two priests “could not be substantiated.”

But when you enter the names of the two “accused but just re-instated” priests – Fr. Peter Popadick and Fr. Paul Nogaro – into the diocesan website search box, nothing comes up about them ever having been accused or suspended.

https://www.wnycatholic.org/search.php?form_name=search_block_100007&form_event=submit&task=execute-search&search_load_100007=2020-01-17+16%3A09%3A05&search_keywords_100007=popadick

That raises an obvious question: If church officials apparently didn’t even announce that these two priests were accused of abuse in a lawsuit, how hard did they work to ‘substantiate’ the charges against them?”

The Buffalo diocese says its ‘investigation’ was thwarted because the accuser supposedly would not ‘cooperate’ with them. https://bit.ly/2FYMQi2

That raises another question: Had the accuser of these clerics died, would the diocese just have given up trying to determine whether his or her allegations had merit?

Think about the Jeffrey Epstein case. Even after his death, efforts at determining the truth about him and achieving justice continue. Shouldn’t Catholic officials work to determine whether Fr. Popadick and Fr. Nogaro are potentially dangerous EVEN IF their accuser prefers to disclose his experiences in a courtroom instead of in the chancery office?

And assuming they’re telling the truth, given the horrific track record of the Buffalo diocese in particular and the Catholic church in general with abuse, can anyone really blame a victim for choosing NOT to trust a church official or a church committee?

In their announcement about putting Fr. Popadick and Fr. Nogaro back on the job, Buffalo church officials make a curious omission: They don’t mention that the accuser of these two priests also accused two OTHER clerics of abuse: Fr. Frank J. Tuchols and a “Fr. Mike.” (In 1995 Tuchols was caught in a sting by the DEA buying crack cocaine.)

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news555/1995_01_28_Herbeck_Local_Priest.pdf

Why this ‘oversight?’ It does little to inspire faith in Bishop Scharfenberger’s promises of ‘transparency.’

The plaintiff says his abuse happened at St. Mary of Sorrows and at Bishop Fallon High School. When he filed suit, Fr. Nogaro was at St. Stephen Church on Grand Island and Fr. Popadick was at St. Aloysius.

We hope that anyone who works or worships at those parishes will step forward if they know of or suspect abuse.

We also hope his suit brings this plaintiff healing.

Finally, we hope Buffalo Catholics will demand some further explanations from their bishop.