Trautman: Buffalo-related claims ‘not accurate’

Go Erie

Posted June 20, 2019

By Ed Palattella

The retired Erie bishop responds to allegations that he mishandled abuse reports when he was chancellor of the Diocese of Buffalo decades ago.

Retired Erie Catholic Bishop Donald W. Trautman on Thursday said he did nothing wrong related to the case of a New York priest accused of molesting minors more than 30 years ago, when Trautman was chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Trautman was responding to allegations made at a news conference in Buffalo on Tuesday for James Bottlinger, 50. He said Trautman knew about abuse claims against the Rev. Michael Freeman, whom Bottlinger said molested him when he was a teenager.

“The assertions about me from the press conference in Buffalo regarding James Bottlinger are not accurate,” Trautman said in an email. “I can state with absolute certainty that I never saw Freeman and Bottlinger in Freeman’s bedroom or ‘private quarters.’

“If I had observed any inappropriate actions, I would have immediately corrected it,” Trautman said. “I did not cover up anything.”

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.