Accused Falls priest named in Child Victims Act suit
COURTS: Allegations involve Father Richard Judd and three teenage boys.
September 1, 2019
A priest previously accused of sexual abuse was named in a recent Child Victims Act suit, accusing him of forcing three teenage boys to have group sex with an older girl in the rectory of St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church.
The plaintiff claims Father Richard C. Judd began to “groom” him and other boys shortly upon his arrival at St. Theresa’s, on Macklem Avenue in Niagara Falls, taking the teenager to Sabres games and giving him alcohol and cigarettes.
Judd allegedly plied the accuser and two other teenage boys with alcohol for hours in the rectory at St. Theresa’s Feb. 23, 1975, and then brought over an older girl to join them. Judd instructed the plaintiff, who was 15, to have sex with the girl, according to the suit. Judd also allegedly tried to perform a non-consensual sex act on the plaintiff and watched him have sex with the girl, without the plaintiff’s knowledge or consent.
The plaintiff then left “without a word to Judd” or anyone else at the rectory.
The next day, the plaintiff went to confession, but Judd was the only priest at St. Theresa’s. Judd allegedly told the plaintiff to perform Hail Marys and Our Father as penance. The plaintiff did not return to church after that.
The suit was filed against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and St. Theresa’s, alleging they negligently failed to supervise Judd, failed to provide a safe environment for children and failed to have procedures in place to prevent child abuse.
According to a report by the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, which filed 80 suits against the Diocese of Buffalo, Judd was assigned to St. Theresa’s in South Buffalo in 1976, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Buffalo from 1977 to 1983, and St. Mary Manor in Niagara Falls from 1984 to 1988. The report did not uncover Judd’s assignments from 1969 to 1975.
Judd, who died in 1988, was first accused of abuse in 2002 by Nicholas D’Amico.
“There were several people, my age, in my class (at St. Teresa’s Elementary School), who were molested by (Judd),” D’Amico told the Gazette in March 2018.
A Catholic Diocese spokesperson said in 2002, “To the best of our knowledge, there were never any allegations made against (Judd) while he was living.”
But in March 2018, the diocese included Judd on a list of priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse.