Pastor Suspended over Allegations

By Lorey Schultz
March 3, 2011

[with video]

A Cheektowaga priest has been suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct. The Diocese is now investigating.

Father David Bialkowski is on administrative leave while the investigation continues. He claims nothing inappropriate happened between him and his accuser, who was described as a close friend of the priest, up until about a year ago. News 4 spoke with alleged victim, who stands by his story.

LaVerne Adamczyk and other members of St. John Gualbert Church in Cheektowaga wrote a statement as part of their new mission to save their pastor's reputation. They're furious over the recent suspension of Fr. David Bialkowski.

"He's very spiritual, a wonderful pastor. All of us miss him dearly now," said Adamczyk.

The Bishop recently suspended the priest, following an accusation of sexual misconduct made by a former parish altar boy. That boy, James Herr, is now a 24-year-old man. Herr told News 4 by phone that he encountered 'inappropriate behavior' by the priest ten years ago. Supposedly, Fr. David made suggestive comments, and touched him on his thigh. Adamczyk and others expressed shock.

Adamczyk said, "Yes, we're shocked by allegations and working to do everything we can to protect his good name."

She believes the alleged victim is retaliating against the priest because he accused him of hacking into his private computer. Representatives of a group called, "The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" are asking parishioners, especially those who support the priest, to back off, and not minimize the alleged victim's allegations.

A representative said, "People want to believe that if you are inappropriately touched or fondled that it's quote, "no big deal," but it is. It's a terrible thing to happen to a child."

Fr. Bialkowski served at this parish since 1995, and we're told he was well liked. Diocesan officials issued a statement Thursday saying the case has been the "subject of an extensive review." Fr. Bialkowski continues to maintain his innocent. His attorney said, WWe deny these allegations that have been made against him."

But Herr stands by his story, saying, "This isn't a matter of money. This is all a matter of bringing attention to what happened."

The priest's accuser said he left the parish last year. That's when he sought the advice of an attorney. Once the investigation is concluded, the Bishop will determine whether Fr. Bialkowski will get another assignment.


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