Attorney bares his past as child sex abuse victim in ad seeking clients

Buffalo News

January 6, 2020

By Dan Herbeck

Five months ago, Niagara Falls attorney Paul K. Barr had a tough decision to make as he prepared to record a radio advertisement inviting clients to file lawsuits against molesters under the state’s Child Victims Act.

Barr kept asking himself if the commercial should mention that he, too, was allegedly molested by a priest in 1980.

He decided that it should.

“I was 16, a budding athlete. Father Mike took notice,” Barr’s commercial begins.

The ad goes on to tell the story of how the Rev. Michael R. Freeman allegedly molested him at a Niagara Falls church. “I was a victim,” the ad continues. “I know what it’s like and I will take your call.”

Now that the commercial has been running for three months in Buffalo, New York City and in several other states, Barr said he is at peace with his decision to let radio listeners in on one of the most traumatic incidents of his life.

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