Longtime St. John the Baptist pastor accused of abusing teen in ’70s

Buffalo News

January 2, 2020

By Barbara O’Brien and Lou Michel

A new lawsuit alleges that a retired Buffalo priest and pastor at two parishes abused a 15-year-old parishioner at Holy Cross Catholic Church on the Lower West Side in the early 1970s.

The Rev. Richard Reina and the Buffalo Catholic Diocese are named as defendants in the suit, which was filed Thursday under the Child Victims Act.

“When I was approximately 15 years old, approximately 1972, Richard Reina (Fr. Reina) abused me on the premises of Holy Cross Church. The sexual abuse included inappropriate touching,” the unnamed plaintiff said in court papers.

Reina denied the allegations in a telephone interview with The Buffalo News on Thursday morning and said he has contacted an attorney to defend him.

“The first I’ve heard of it was this morning. I positively, absolutely deny any and all charges,” Reina said. “This person maybe was molested by someone and I feel sorry for the person, but it wasn’t me.”

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