Pastor placed on administrative leave after two sex abuse allegations

Buffalo News

October 9, 2020

By Harold McNeil

The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish in Buffalo’s Old First Ward has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Diocese of Buffalo into two allegations of child sex abuse made against the priest that date back to the 1970s, according to a statement released by the diocese Friday.

The Rev. Donald Lutz, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, was placed on leave by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger.

The diocese became aware of the first allegation against Lutz in a recent lawsuit that was filed on behalf of a woman whose identity was withheld in the complaint for privacy reasons.

The Buffalo News previously reported 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.

The lawsuit named the Amherst church as a defendant, but not Lutz, which means he would not have been served with a summons and complaint.

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