Valley priest sues accusers, Diocese

Tribune Chronicle

October 12, 2019

By Ed Runyan

Suit calls claims false and defamatory

Youngstown – Father Denis G. Bouchard, who was placed on administrative leave in November after the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown received an allegation that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with a minor, has filed a libel and slander suit against the accuser, his mother and the diocese.

The lawsuit, filed late last month in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, names the alleged victim, who lives in Chardon, his mother, who lives in Orwell, and the diocese as defendants.

It says the allegations are false and defamatory.

Monsignor John Zuraw, chancellor of the Diocese of Youngstown, when asked about the lawsuit, said, “Because there is a civil suit that is active, we cannot make any comment because of the legal ramifications.”

Retired Youngstown police Sgt. Delphine Baldwin-Casey, diocese victim assistance coordinator, said in November the purported victim was a minor at the time of the alleged incidents but is now an adult.

The Diocese said in November its Diocesan Review Board had recommended to Youngstown Bishop George V. Murry that further investigation be done to determine the credibility of the allegations against Bouchard, who was pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish on Scoville Drive in Vienna.

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