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Rochester priests accused of sexually abusing children named by lawyer

June 07, 2018 11:32 AM

There are new allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the Diocese of Rochester.

Wednesday, the lawyer who helped break the abuse scandal in Boston and whose role was portrayed in the movie "Spotlight" was in Rochester with the names of eight priests, including five never before published. 

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Many of the eight priests are now dead. However, one is still the pastor of a church in the Diocese. News10NBC is not naming him or the other priest we believe to be alive because they have not been charged with the crime of sexual abuse. 

But in front of the steps of Sacred Heart Cathedral, attorney Mitchell Garabedian says 17 people have come forward this year telling him they were abused by the eight priests. 

"These priests were transferred from parish to parish to parish, which is typical of the Diocese or Archdiocese and the Catholic Church," Garabedian said. 

Garabedian says the abuse happened between 1950 and 1978. He says during that 28-year window the victims ranged in age from five to 18. He says two of the 17 alleged victims are women. 

Garabedian provided a list of the eight priests. Here is the list and the church's response:

Fr. Eugene Emo 
The allegation says the abuse happened at St. Mary's Church in Dansville in 1969. Father Emo was arrested on sex abuse in 1996.
Fr. David P. Simon
The allegation says the abuse happened at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Rochester in 1979. 
Fr. Francis H. Vogt
The allegation says the abuse happened at St. Salome's Church in Point Pleasant in the early 1950s. 

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the Diocese of Rochester says Fathers Emo, Simon and Vogt were all listed in a 2012 report that detailed sexual abuse cases by priests and all three were removed from ministry. 

Fr. G. Stuart Hogan
The allegation says the abuse happened at St. Gregory's Church in Marion, Wayne County in 1962. 
Fr. Charles J. McCarthy
The allegation says the abuse happened at St. Andrew's Church in Rochester in 1965. According to church records, Father McCarthy died July 17, 1971.
Fr. Richard J. Orlando
The allegation says the abuse happened at St. Michael's Church in Lyons, Wayne County in 1969. 

The Diocese says it never received complaints against Fathers Hogan, McCarthy and Orlando prior to now. 

Allegations against a seventh priest, who may still be alive, says the abuse happened at St. Margaret Mary Church in Irondequoit in 1974. 

The Diocese says the seventh priest never got a complaint and left the priesthood in 1977. The eighth priest is a pastor in the Diocese today.

Garabedian says a victim was abused by that priest at St. Mary's of the Lake Church Ontario, Wayne County in 1976. The Diocese says the allegation against the eighth priest was investigated and "found to be unsubstantiated."

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Have you contacted the Rochester Police Department or the Monroe County Sheriff's Office?"

Mitchell Garabedian, attorney: "My clients are in the process of doing that." 

Brean: "What proof do you have?" 

Garabedian: "I, well for instance, with Fr. Emo Fr. Simon and Fr. Vogt, they're known pedophiles."

Brean: "What about the five that haven't been named before today. What proof do you have on them?"

Garabedian: "Okay, what I do in every case I do my background research. I listen to the victim's story. I check the records to make sure the story makes sense. I speak to collateral sources to corroborate their claims." 

Here is part of the statement News10NBC received from Bishop Salvatore Matano: 

"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. 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." 

Victims of the clergy sexual abuse are encouraged to contact civil authorities. To receive any sort of help or guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester contact Victim Assistance Coordinator Deborah Housel at (585) 328-3210 ext. 1555 or toll-free at 1-800-388-7177. You can also send an email to victimsassistance@dor.org 

Since February, Garabedian has been running commercials on News10NBC seeking victims of sex abuse by priests. 


Brean: "Were (the victims) prompted to come forward because of the television commercials you purchased locally?"

Garabedian: "No, they were prompted to come forward because it was time to come forward."

Brean: "But they came forward in the last six months which is after the television commercials you purchased."

Garabedian: "Well, in part maybe they did. I can't answer that with certainty. Certainly, maybe some of them did."

Brean: "So why did you decide to buy the commercials in the Rochester market?" 

Garabedian: "To help victims. To help victims come forward.'

Brean: "But why not two years ago, or three years ago or five years ago? Why now?" 

Garabedian: "Because it's time now." 

Brean: "Five years ago wasn't time?"  

Garabedian: "I've been doing it all over the world. I'm only one person."

Garabedian says he and his clients are going to meet with the Diocese and the Diocese's investigator. 

So far, all the major law enforcement agencies tell News10NBC they have not received any new complaints. 

Right now the Victim's Child Act is a bill in the New York State Legislature that would allow victims a one year window to sue abusers even if the abuse happened decades ago. Several times during Wednesday's news conference, Garabedian said that needs to be the law. 

The bill passed the New York State Assembly in May. The New York State Senate has not voted on it yet. 

The Catholic Church is against it. 

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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