October 29, 2020
By Justin Dennis
William Smaltz, who served St. Edward Parish decades ago, claims the diocese never interviewed him on the abuse allegations the diocese linked to him in 2018. The diocese removed his name from a list of credibly accused clergy more than a year later.
Youngstown – The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown is facing another defamation suit from a former Youngstown priest.
The diocese in October 2018 published former St. Edward Parish priest William Smaltz’ name in a list of diocesan clergy who have been accused of sexually abusing a minor.
The diocese in May removed Smaltz’ name from the list, after it received new information and followed up on the claims against him, and found them to be unsubstantiated.
But Smaltz’ lawsuit, filed Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, claims the damage to his reputation had already been done.
According to the suit, the diocese did not interview Smaltz on the abuse allegations, which the suit calls “inconsistent and vague.”
“A different priest who was serving at the same parish as Mr. Smaltz has been charged on multiple accounts of sexual abuse/misconduct whose identity the accuser most likely confused with Mr. Smaltz,” reads the suit. “Despite inconsistencies and lack of investigation, the [diocese] claimed that the witness’ statements were credible.”
The suit does not identify the “different priest.”
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