Priest on leave denies alleged sex abuse in 1980s

The Buffalo News

June 28, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

A retired Buffalo priest who was recently put on administrative leave wrote a letter this week vehemently denying that he sexually assaulted a young boy in the 1980s.

The Rev. Roy Herberger, the former pastor of SS. Columba-Brigid Church, said in the letter that he contacted a lawyer after the Diocese of Buffalo put him on administrative leave due to the abuse complaint.

“I want everyone to know that I deny these claims completely – 100 percent,” Herberger said in the letter. “I’m not saying that the victim is lying about being assaulted by some priest, a priest but I do emphatically deny that it was me.”

Diocesan spokesman George Richert declined to comment Wednesday afternoon. Herberger could not be reached to comment Wednesday. A clergy friend confirmed that Herberger wrote the letter and sent it to relatives, friends and parishioners. It’s not clear how many people received the letter.

Herberger said in the letter than he knows the man making the claim because he helped the man’s father, who struggled with alcoholism and was homeless for stretches of time on the streets of Buffalo and took him for treatment. He met the man making the complaint maybe three of four times and always in the presence of his parents, Herberger said in the letter. Herberger said he never was alone with the boy.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.