Priest added to list of Albany diocese abusers after decades of allegations

Times Union

September 7, 2020

By Edward McKinley

Diocese says addition of Daniel J. Maher to list of offenders was meant to be publicized

Three new cases alleging child abuse in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany were filed this past week – including one involving a priest who in August was put on the diocese’s list of offenders after years of allegations against him.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday says that former Albany Diocese priest Daniel J. Maher and now deceased former priest Donald Starks each abused the plaintiff when he was 11 to 13 years old from 1966 to 1968 when he was an altar boy. The two men began by touching him inappropriately and subsequently forced the young boy to have oral sex with them, the suit alleges, including in the rectory of St. Francis de Sales church in Colonie.

The priests told the boy that the abuse was “’our secret,’ or something ‘between us and God,’ which would be ‘wrong to tell anybody,’” the lawsuit says.

From 2003 to 2007, multiple people came forward with stories of child abuse at the hands of Maher, the lawsuit notes, but the diocese threw out the allegations after an internal investigation through their Diocesan Review Board process and allowed Maher to continue as an active priest.

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