Msgr. Leo McCarthy
Diocese of Buffalo
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Msgr. Leo McCarthy:
In July 2021, a lawsuit was filed in New York State court alleging that a woman was sexually abused by Monsignor Leo McCarthy of the Diocese of Buffalo in the early 1980s.
According to the lawsuit, the woman, now 51, alleges that she was abused by McCarthy over the course of several months in 1982, when she was 12 years old. She says that McCarthy showed her pornography and engaged her in sexual contact, including sexual intercourse in the sacristy at St. Matthew parish in Buffalo. The abuse continued until her mother suspected she was pregnant, at which time she told her mom about what McCarthy was doing. She also says that she tried to tell a teacher about the abuse, but the teacher did not believe her; she was expelled from the school not long after, which she says was retaliation by McCarthy for reporting her abuse.
McCarthy was later named in at least two more lawsuits filed in 2021.
McCarthy is now retired but continued to assist with services at Blessed Sacrament in Tonawanda. Upon learning of the allegation, the Buffalo Diocese suspended McCarthy’s faculties to minister and placed him on administrative leave pending investigation.
In May 2022, the Diocese of Buffalo’s internal review board cleared McCarthy of the allegation after the victims’ attorneys would not produce their clients for interviews by the Diocese’s private investigator. Rather than exercise an abundance of caution for the safety of children, particularly given the number of allegations against McCarthy, Bishop Michael Fisher determined McCarthy committed no wrongdoing and returned him to ministry. The lawsuits remain pending in civil court.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo in New York. The Diocese of Buffalo filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Buffalo Diocese.
Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court. Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.