Sexual Abuse Survivor Sues Diocese of Buffalo, New York for Nuisance

Lawsuit Alleges Bishop Richard Malone, Diocese of Buffalo Continues to Expose the Public to Dangerous, Predator Priests

More Than 80 Priests Have Been Accused of Child Sexual Abuse in Buffalo

(Buffalo, NY) – Sexual abuse survivor Matthew Golden sued the Diocese of Buffalo today for nuisance, claiming the Diocese and Bishop Richard J. Malone created and exposed the public to dangerous predator priests and continue to do so through present day.

“I will continue to fight this fight for the children in the Diocese of Buffalo as long as Bishop Malone continues to be defiant in his ways of handling this crisis,” said Matthew Golden. “The Bishop says the shepherd does not abandon his flock during a difficult time, but based upon his decisions of the past he abandoned the children of this diocese a long time ago and chose to protect his image, and those who committed these horrible crimes continuing to allow them to prey on innocent children.”

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the Diocese of Buffalo continues to conspire and engage in efforts to conceal from the public and law enforcement, the identities of priests who have sexually abused minors and allow known child molesters, like Fr. Dennis Riter who abused Golden when he was a child, to live freely in the community without informing the public. To-date more than 80 priests have been accused of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo.

“The children who have been and are being neglected by church officials deserve this lawsuit,” said Golden’s attorney, Mike Reck. “Because the Diocese of Buffalo and Bishop Malone failed to make the very simple choice to come clean and disclose the full extent of the abuse in this diocese it will now face the full weight of justice in a court of law.”

In June 2017, Father Dennis Riter was returned to ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Dunkirk after the Diocese of Buffalo, Bishop Richard Malone, Investigator Scott Riordan, and the Diocesan Review Board received three reports of sexual abuse allegations against Fr. Riter. One of the survivors is deceased and the second survivor, Golden, was interviewed by the Diocese.  After the interview, the Diocese chose to return Fr. Riter to ministry, despite failing to interview the third survivor. The Diocese claims that after one month of attempting to contact the third survivor unsuccessfully, the decision was made to return Fr. Riter to ministry.

In late July 2018, the third survivor was interviewed by the Diocese, but Fr. Riter remained in ministry during the entire, ongoing investigation. The Diocese of Buffalo has not provided an explanation as to why Fr. Riter remains in ministry despite multiple allegations of child sexual abuse.

A copy of the complaint is attached here and available at