Buffalo diocese settles priest abuse claim

Aug 16, 2012

The Diocese of Buffalo and a 37-year-old woman who accused a priest of sexually assaulting her in a Buffalo church rectory have reached a financial settlement.

The woman's attorney tells The Buffalo News that the settlement will prevent a lawsuit in federal court. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

The unidentified woman from Canada accused the longtime pastor of Saint Anthony Church on Court Street of sexually groping her in the church rectory in 2009. The pastor, the Reverend Secondo Casarotto, told police investigators the sexual contact was consensual.

She reported the case to Buffalo police nearly two years later, in March of last year. The Erie County District Attorney's office filed no charges because there was no criminal evidence found.

Father Casarotto was placed on administrative leave in January by the Diocese, although no reason was announced. A second woman has since come forward saying she too received unwanted sexual advances from the priest.