|Priest Removed after Allegations of Inappropriate Touching
By Laura Gray
March 3, 2011
Cheektowaga, NY (WKBW) -- A Cheektowaga parishioner recently reported to the Diocese of Buffalo that Father David Bialkowski touched him inappropriately 10 years ago. WKBW is not naming the alleged victim in this case, even though he is now an adult, because he was a teenager at the time he claims he was inappropriate touched.
The Diocese of Buffalo is following procedures and says the case is under review. Parishioners and victims rights groups are speaking out about the allegations today.
A parishioner says he was an alter boy ten years ago when Father David Bialkowski touched his upper thigh and made suggestive statements. The prisoner's attorney says the alleged victim came forward to address the inappropriate actions with the church and "Do what's right."
Bialkowski's attorney, Kevin Spitler, denies the allegations. "Father David Bialkowski is a man of deep faith. He is relying on his faith to get him through this, and he is relying on the support of his many friends." Friends like Laverne Adamczyk. "He is a very spiritual man, a great pastor, loved by so many and we miss him very much." She is part of a committee of parishioners called "Save Father David." She believes an investigation against the alleged victim over hacking the priests computer in April 2010 prompted the claims. "I definitely feel it is retaliation for having investigators approach him." The alleged victim has not been charged with any crime. The Erie County District Attorney's office neither confirms nor denies an investigation has taken place.
In February, the diocese claimed that Bialkowski was taking medical leave, but the diocese now says Bialkowski is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. The diocese of buffalo sent out a statement which read in part, "The decision to place Father. Bialkowski on administrative leave does not imply any determination as to the validity of the allegations."
The "Save the Father David" committee believes the church is over reacting to the allegation by placing father Bialkowski at retirement home for priests.
The alleged victim is satisfied with the way the church has handled the situation but Survivors Network for Abuse by Priests, or SNAP, spoke out about the diocese's handling of the issue. Barbara Dorris tells me the church violated it's own policy when Bishop Kmiec lied about the reason for Bialkowski's absence from the church.
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