Father Robert Yetter
Diocese of Buffalo
- St. Mary’s of Swormville (Erie County, New York)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Robert Yetter:
According to media reports, in October of 2018, a man came forward with allegations of child sexual abuse against Father Robert Yetter, a priest in the Diocese of Buffalo. The boy claimed that Yetter offered to counsel him around 2009 regarding that he believes he is homosexual and hadn’t “come ou”t to his family yet. He claims Yetter stated, “You know, we’ll talk about all that stuff and I’ll tell you, you know, how-to guide you through that.” The boy then claimed that Yetter invited him into the rectory to do a shot of Goldschlager. The two were watching TV When Yetter allegedly came up to the boy with his pants down. The boy got up and left and said that Yetter told him not to tell anyone. Yetter didn’t deny the encounter when it came out in 2018.
A month earlier, he resigned as pastor of St. Mary’s of Swormville, four days before detailed allegations came out of him sexually abusing multiple young men.
Now, almost 4 years later, Yetter is accused again of molesting a 15-year-old boy in 2017. According to new media reports, the boy was 13 when the sexual abuse began while Yetter was working at St. Mary Church. The boy claims the abuse went on for two years and continued into 2017, just a year before the diocese’s cover-up of abuse cases began unraveling.
Yetter died July 5, 2021, at age 73. If Yetter were still alive, the new allegations would have fallen within the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes to be charged and prosecuted.
The stories were too familiar to the man who came forward, who believes that Father Yetter lured him into a friendship as an attempt at grooming him later as a young man. The victim claims that he had confided to Father Yetter about possibly being a homosexual, who later took advantage of that information and came onto the victim. He claimed that Father Yetter offered him a shot of alcohol in a church rectory before taking his pants off in front of him. The victim claimed that he refused Father Yetter’s advances and left right after that.
Father Yetter did not deny the allegations against him, but also claimed that the boy did not leave right away like he told the media. Bishop Malone promised the victim that he was the only victim of Father Yetter’s and the Diocese had heard no other complaints against him. However, documentation revealed that Malone was aware of two other victims claiming Father Yetter had abused them as well.
No official lawsuit has been filed against him or the diocese.
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.