Latest clergy abuse claim questions priest’s name still on parish hall


August 29, 2019

By Eileen Buckley

Another victim will announce he is filing a claim against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and Mary Immaculate Parish in Pavilion, New York, formerly known as St. Mary’s, under the Child Victim’s Act.

Wayne Bortle, former Western New Yorker who now lives in New Hampshire, will appear Thursday afternoon in Buffalo with Boston-area attorney Mitchell Garabedian Thursday to announce his civil lawsuit. Bortle accuses Father Robert Conlin, now deceased, of sexually abusing him nearly 40-years ago.

But this is not the first time Bortle has appeared in Buffalo to make his claims. He first disclosed his allegations against Father Conlin in March of 2018.

Bortle’s lawsuit claims Father Conlin, then then pastor of St. Mary’s parish, abused him when he was 15 years old.

In 2018, standing outside the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo on Main Street, Bortle outlined his abuse claims telling a story of Father Conlin asking him to come over and watch television. His suit claims Conlin touched him.

“That night, when I came home and I told my mother, and I’m crying in my bed, she asked me what was wrong – what happened, and I said Father Conlin was touching me and she said what do you mean – and I said mom he was touching me everywhere and he wouldn’t stop,” recalled Bortle.

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