October 28, 2020
By Ed Runyan
Youngstown – Former priest William B. Smaltz of Youngstown and his wife, Noreen, filed suit against the Diocese of Youngstown on Tuesday alleging defamation after the Diocese included Smaltz’s name on a list of priests it called “credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.”
The Diocese released the list to the public Oct. 30, 2018, and various news outlets published articles on it.
In May, however, the Diocese said it was removing Smaltz’s name from the list after further investigation and additional information indicated that the earlier allegations against Smaltz are “no longer deemed to be credible,” according to Vindicator files.
The suit was filed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and is assigned to Judge Anthony D’Apolito.
Over his time as priest, Smaltz was assigned to St. Edward Parish in Youngstown, St. Mary Parish in Massillon, Our Lady of Lourdes in East Palestine and St. Mary Parish in Conneaut, the Diocese has said.
The suit states that Smaltz was ordained a priest in 1956 and served in the Catholic Church 18 years. He received dispensation to leave the priesthood and got married. He and his wife had four children, the suit states.
The Diocese conducted an investigation of claims regarding priests sexually abusing minors but failed to interview Smaltz when the accuser “made inconsistent and vague claims concerning him,” the suit states.
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