New lawsuits accuse 8 priests, 2 religious brothers of sexual contact

WKBW [Buffalo NY]

November 22, 2023

By Sean Mickey

Lawsuits filed under New York State’s Adult Survivors Act allege sexual contact by eight Catholic priests and two religious brothers in Western New York.

Those accused are Fr. Lawrence Connors, Fr. Donald J. Joyce, Fr. Paul Keeling, Fr. Joseph S. Rogliano, Fr. Arthur Smith, Fr. James A. Spielman, Fr. Kennth Ward, Fr. William White, Br. Augustine Towey and Br. Richard Prange. The dates of alleged sexual misconduct range from 1964 to 2010.

The suits were made possible by the year-long suspension of the legal time limit to sue over sexual assaults against adults in New York. The lookback window will close Thursday.

Of the accused, Keeling and Rogliano are living.

Keeling, a Barnabite priest, is removed from ministry and sentenced to a life of prayer and penance. The lawsuit naming Keeling claims that in 1989, Keeling approached a man praying at Our Lady of Fatima and offered to counsel him. Keeling then led the man to the rectory bedroom and molested him, according to the suit.

Rogliano is accused of making unwanted sexual advances towards a man in 2010. He is alleged to have invited the man to the rectory at Fourteen Holy Helpers Parish for post-funeral counseling and consolation. There, Rogliano began to massage the man’s shoulders and kiss his forehead and shoulders, the lawsuit states.

Rogliano was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Buffalo in September. He serves as pastor of the family of parishes that include Blessed Trinity, SS. Columba-Brigid, St. Lawrence and St. Martin de Porres churches. Rogliano is also removed from his role as coordinator of the Priests’ Personnel Board.

More than 250 priests and nuns in the Buffalo Diocese have been accused of sexual misconduct. Over 1,000 Child Victims Act lawsuits were filed in Western New York, with the majority being against the Diocese of Buffalo.

Fr. Joseph S. Rogliano
Fr. Joseph S. Rogliano