Lawsuit alleges Archbishop Walsh was aware of priest’s child sex abuse, but did not stop it

Olean Times Herald

March 28, 2018

By Tom Dinki

A lawsuit filed by a former Archbishop Walsh High School student alleged the Rev. James A. Spielman abused him from approximately September 1979 through 1982 when he was 14 to 17, and that school officials were aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, includes allegations Spielman molested the victim, including by sexual intercourse, and that the former Walsh priest and religion teacher supplied minors with alcohol and pornography.

Both Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and Walsh officials were aware Spielman “had an unusual interest in minor boys,” yet allowed him to have frequent, unsupervised contact with them, according to the lawsuit.

Photos from the 1982-83 Walsh yearbook obtained by the Olean Times Herald state senior classes would go on annual, three-day retreats to Spielman’s “cabin on the hill.” Students even dedicated that entire yearbook to Spielman for “acting not only as a teacher but as a friend as well.”

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