Dunkirk church named in new Child Victims Act suit


August 4, 2020

By Eric Tichy

The former pastor of a Dunkirk church is being accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1960s in a new Child Victims Act lawsuit filed Monday.

The complaint, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Chautauqua County, names the former St. Mary’s Church as a defendant. The victim claims to have been abused by the Rev. Maurus Schenck between 1962 and 1968 when the victim was about 12 to 17 years old.

“Plaintiff was a parishioner and participated in youth activities and/or church activities at St. Mary,” the suit claims. “Plaintiff, therefore, developed great admiration, trust, reverence, and respect for the Roman Catholic Church, including Defendants and their agents, including Fr. Schenck.”

The victim is being represented by the New York City-based Jeff Anderson & Associates and attorney Steve Boyd of Williamsville.

Schenck was one of dozens of priests tied to misconduct complaints and identified in leaked Diocese documents. According to multiple media reports, the former pastor was also accused of abusing a then-13-year-old at St. Mary’s around 1965.

Elsewhere, two Child Victims Act lawsuits were filed late last week for abuse said to have taken place at a Jamestown church in the early 1960s and mid-’70s. Both complaints name Ss. Peter and Paul Church and Holy Apostles as defendants.

One victim, only identified as “AB 279 DOE,” claims they were sexually abused by the Rev. John D. Lewandowski from about 1962 to 1963. The victim was about 13 to 14 years old when the alleged abuse took place.

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