Priest Accused of Misconduct

January 19, 2012

[with video]

BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Rev. Secondo Casarotto was placed on administrative leave from his position as pastor for St. Anthony of Padua Church in downtown Buffalo, after allegations surfaced that the priest sexually assaulted a woman parishioner in 2009.

According the Florida based attorney for the victim, the woman went to St. Anthony's in the summer of 2009 to meet with Father Casarotto about a sick relative.

According to attorney Adam Horowitz, the priest began to show the woman around the rectory, and allegedly took her to his bedroom, where he asked her to sit on the bed.

The attorney for the victim said "She complied, and he lunged at her."

Horowitz says his client begged the priest to stop.

The woman, reported to be in her 30's, was so traumatized by the incident, that she sought counseling.

In May 2011, she filed a sexual abuse report with Buffalo Police.

No charges have been filed, but police spokesperson Mike DeGeorge says the matter is still under investigation.

The Diocese of Buffalo says they did not learn about the allegations until December 2011.

Diocese of Buffalo spokesman Kevin Keenan told Eyewitness News, "Once the Bishop ( Edward Kmiec ) returned from his vacation, he acted very quickly."

Rev. Secondo Casarotto is not a diocesan priest. He is a member of a religious order called the Scalabrini Fathers, who assigned him to work at St. Anthony of Padua for the last 25 years.

Bishop Kmiec consulted with the Scalabrini Fathers, and placed Father Secondo on administrative leave.

According to Kevin Keenan, the Diocese of Buffalo is now assigning two priests to handle masses and other business at St. Anthony's.

Monsignor Fred Voorhes, a diocesan priest, will serve as temporary administrator starting February 1st.

Rev. Charles Amico, a faculty member of Christ the King Seminary, will celebrate masses until the arrival of Voorhes.








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