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Diocese of Buffalo Releases Name of Another Priest Alleged of Child Sex AbuseMarch 16, 2018
BUFFALO, N.Y.- – A longtime priest in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo was forced out of service and put on “medical leave” in 2002 after allegations of child sexual abuse came to light, the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned.
Until now, the Rev. Donald W. Becker has never been named publicly as an alleged child sex abuser even though victims have come forward with stories of abuse and the reverend has long had a poor reputation among some diocesan priests.
The timing of Becker’s forced retirement — he was given a “medical leave of absence” soon after the Catholic sex abuse scandal first broke in Boston in 2002 — looks especially suspect in hindsight, clerical sexual abuse experts said.
Since he was ordained in 1967, Becker has served at multiple parishes — mostly in the Southtowns and in rural areas — including St. Bonaventure in West Seneca, Nativity in Orchard Park, SS. Peter & Paul in Hamburg, St. Agatha’s in South Buffalo and St. Mary’s in Batavia.
One man claims to have been sexually abused by Becker at St. Bonaventure’s parish (he served there from 1971-1974) and two have spoken about sexual abuse at SS. Peter & Paul (1975-1979).
7 Eyewitness News is not naming the victims of the abuse, who do not wish to come forward publicly because of the trauma of the abuse. In addition to these men, a second independent source who spent years working within the diocese has verified that Becker was among multiple priests who were removed for suspected sexual abuse. The source identified Becker as “one of the earliest abusers” in the diocese.
Reached by phone from his home in Florida and asked whether the allegations were true, Becker said, “No, it isn’t.”
Asked why so many people had come forward with allegations against him, Becker said, “I don’t know,” before declining to comment further.
Attorney Steve Boyd is a former WKBW TV reporter who first broke the stories of child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.