Number of WNY priests accused in Child Victims Act suits grows to 173

Buffalo News

September 22, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

Child Victims Act lawsuits filed over the past year have accused 173 Catholic priests in Western New York of sexually abusing children.

More than 30 of those priests were accused publicly for the first time only in recent weeks, including one cleric who has continued to run a South Buffalo parish despite being linked to abuse in a July lawsuit.

The Rev. Donald J. Lutz said he wasn’t aware of the lawsuit when The Buffalo News contacted him last week. Lutz is pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a small parish on O’Connell Avenue in the Old First Ward neighborhood of the city.

Attorneys Steve Boyd and Jeffrey Anderson filed a lawsuit July 30 in State Supreme Court on behalf of an anonymous plaintiff accusing Lutz of engaging in “unpermitted sexual contact” with the plaintiff from 1975 to 1976. The plaintiff was 13 to 14 at the time and attended St. Leo the Great Church, according to court papers.

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