Fr. James Spielman – Diocese of Buffalo

| Nov 7, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father James Spielman

Diocese of Buffalo

Ordained: 1970

Resigned: 1993

Assigned As Follows:

  • 1972-1977:      St. Aloysius (Springville, NY)
  • 1978:                St. Patrick (Salamanca, NY)
  • 1979-1983:      Archbishop Walsh High School (Olean, NY)
  • 1984-1986:      St. Mary (Canaseraga, NY)
  • 1987-1989:      St. Peter & Paul (Jamestown, NY)
  • 1991-1993:      St. Mary Church (Canaseraga, NY)
  • 1991-1993:      Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (Portageville, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father James Spielman:

According to media reports, in 1993, Father James Spielman was accused of sexually abusing a child. The victim claimed that Father Spielman abused him for 4 straight years when he was an altar boy in the 1970’s.  The Diocese of Buffalo reached a settlement with the alleged victim in 1994. Reports say that Bishop Edward D. Head knew about allegations of abuse at a Jamestown parish in 1989, and Father Spielman was sent to a treatment center 6 months later.

He returned to ministry after completing treatment at St. Mary Church in Canaseraga, NY. After the allegations surfaced against him, Father Spielman resigned from priesthood and moved to Alaska that same year. In 2011, reports of him possibly living in Naalehu, Hawaii and continuing to work at a few Hawaii parishes surfaced.

In 2016, another settlement was made for $1.5 million dollars with a former Walsh student claiming abuse by Father Spielman from ages 14-17. The suit was filed against Buffalo and Honolulu Diocese, Walsh High School and Southdown Institute in Toronto, where Father Spielmen was sent for “treatment.” It has been the largest single settlement that has come to light so far in the Buffalo Diocese for a clergy sex abuse case.

In March 2018, his name has been included on the updated Diocese of Buffalo list of accused priests. As of recently, he has been included in a lawsuit filed in August of 2019, under the New York Child Victims Act. The victim claiming that Spielman molested him multiple times from 1971 to 1976 when he was a parishioner of St. Aloysius Church in Springville. The second case is still pending against him.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo and throughout New York. The Diocese of Buffalo filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Buffalo may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Buffalo if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your legal options today.