New Child Victims Act suit filed against diocese; accuser wants priest’s name taken off of parish hall


August 29, 2019

By Chris Horvatits

A new lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Buffalo is raising questions about the name of a parish hall at a church in Genesee County.

That hall is named after the priest who is accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit filed by a name named Wayne Bortle.

“I think about what happened every single day,” Bortle told reporters Thursday.

The lawsuit is one of more than 100 that have been filed against the Catholic diocese since August 14th, the day the Child Victims Act went into effect. That state law opened up a one year look-back window for victims of sexual abuse to file lawsuits against their abusers, even if the claim was previously time-barred by statute of limitations.

Bortle claims he was abused by Rev. Robert Conlin in 1980, when Conlin served at St. Mary’s Church in Pavilion. Bortle was 15 years old at the time. The suit claims Conlin gained Bortle’s trust by inviting him to play basketball and play games in the rectory, taking him to high school sporting events, and inviting him to attend mass.

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