Two Rochester diocese priests accused of abuse had served in Dansville, Geneseo

The Daily News
June 11, 2018

Two of the eight priests from the Diocese of Rochester who were accused last week of sexually abusing children had assignments at churches in Dansville and Geneseo.

The priests were among eight who were ordained or assigned in the Diocese of Rochester during the past eight decades who were named at a Rochester news conference by Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who represents several survivors of abuse in Rochester, and Robert Hoatson, president of Road to Recovery, a non-profit organization that helps victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Eugene Emo and David P. Simon had previously been acknowledged as alleged abusers by the Diocese of Rochester after the allegations of misconduct were reported by area media. Those reports did not note any specific allegations occurring in Dansville.

Emo, who was ordained in 1961, had been transferred repeatedly and was twice placed on administrative leave. He served at St. Mary’s in Dansville from 1968 to 1973. He was assigned to St. Mary’s Church, Geneseo, in June 1982, but by October 1982 had been moved to St. Francis DeSales, Geneva, according to a Feb. 16, 1996, story in the Democrat and Chronicle.

Emo was arrested in 1996 due to behavior with young boys and sent to a different parish, according to WHAM-TV, channel 13 in Rochester.

Emo had been accused of sexually abusing an adult man who was developmentally disabled in Cohocton, Steuben County. Emo pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May 1997 to six months in Steuben County Jail. At his sentencing, he apologized for “the terrible damage I feel I have done,” according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

Emo was subsequently dismissed from the clerical state in the church, according to the Diocese.

Within a day of Emo’s 1996 arrest, the Democrat and Chronicle reported that he had been moved from St. Januarius Church in Naples, Ontario County, over concerns about missing money and his behavior with boys, which including wrestling, and the discovery of handcuffs and photographs. It soon came out the Emo had been moved several times to other parishes because of behavioral concerns.

State Police told the newspaper that a dozen people had contacted the agency about encounters with Emo that had taken place between 10 and 32 years prior. No additional charges were filed due to statutes of limitations, police said at the time.

In August 1993, Emo went on administrative leave until June 1994 for a “personal problem,” a Diocese spokeswoman told the Democrat and Chronicle in 1996.

In 1999, Emo violated his probation by being found alone with a teenage boy. He was sentenced to one to three years in state prison, the Democrat and Chronicle reported in a 2015 story.

Now 83 years old, Emo lives in Bushnell, Fla., and is registered as a sex offender, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Simon was at St. Mary’s Church, Dansville, in 1978. He has been assigned “to a life of prayer and penance” with no additional public ministry possible, according to the Diocese.

Simon resigned at the request of then-Bishop Matthew H. Clark in 2002 following allegations that Simon had sexually abused a teenager in the mid-1970s, according to a 2002 report by the Press & Sun Bulletin of Binghamton that had been posted to the website

Francis Vogt has also been named previously by the Diocese. Vogt was removed from public ministry and has since died.

Five other clergyman accused this week were named publicly for the first time as alleged abusers. Stuart Hogan, Charles McCarthy, Gary Shaw, Richard Orlando and Thomas Valenti are each accused by multiple survivors of abuse, according to WHAM.

The Diocese, in a statement, said it has never received any complaints of clergy sexual abuse of a minor against Hogan, McCarthy or Orlando, each of whom retired as a priest and are now deceased.

The Diocese also said it had never received any complaints of clergy sexual abuse of a minor against Shaw, who resigned from ministry in 1977 and was dispensed from the clerical state in 1978.

The Diocese said that the allegation against Father Thomas J. Valenti was investigated, reviewed and determined to be unsubstantiated. No further complaints of sexual abuse of a minor against Valenti had been received. Valenti is parochial administrator at Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick Parish in Owego.

Garabedian said the incidents took place between 1950 and 1978 when the alleged perpetrators were assigned to churches in the Rochester diocese. He said the victims, all of whom approached him within the past six months, are now between the ages of 52 and 77, reported the Democrat and Chronicle.

Garabedian said the list was gathered from the testimony of 15 men and two women.

Garabedian called on Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester Bishop Salvatore Matano to release any records, including so-called “secret files,” the Diocese has about allegations of sexual abuse against priests so the public can know who the accused priests are and what their supervisors did to respond to allegations, Rochester-area media reported.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Diocese of Rochester said it had been in correspondence with Garabedian’s law firm regarding the priests being accused.

“The Diocese has invited participation in a process of investigation and resolution,” the statement said. “We have had little or no response.”

Bishop Matano, in the statement, expressed his prayers for the victims of sexual abuse.

“I again wish to re-state to the victims and all the faithful my deep sorrow, regret and empathy for those who have suffered so grievously the sin of sexual abuse,” Matano said. “I continue to offer fervent prayers for those who have been hurt and betrayed, and I ask all the faithful to join with me in these prayers.”

The Diocese said it treats all claims of abuse seriously and has done so for decades.

The Diocese has retained Robert J. Lunn, a retired State Supreme Court justice, to oversee cases and make an independent determination.

The Diocese also said it encourages victims of clergy sexual abuse to contact civil authorities.



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