Diocese of Buffalo with two dozen protesters calling for Bishop Malone's resignation. September 10, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Another Abuse Survivor Comes Forward About Father Michael Freeman

Paul Barr says he told the Diocese about Freeman and nothing was done

June 21, 2019 - 2:02 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - On Tuesday, James Bottlinger spoke publicly for the first time regarding Father Michael Freeman, whom he alleges sexually abused him decades ago. 

Recently, Bottlinger received the largest known settlement offer from the Diocese's victim compensation program - $650,000. However, Bottlinger decided to turn down the offer, as he's instead choosing to file a lawsuit. 

Listen to Tuesday's press conference below:

On Friday morning, sex abuse survivor Paul Barr came forward, and he claims he told the diocese that Freeman had victimized him before he abused Bottlinger, and he added that nothing was done about it. Barr says that he and Bottlinger have become friends through their separate, yet connecting experience.

"For me, what's most disheartening is that this could have been prevented," said Barr. "What happened to James could have been prevented if the diocese had responded to what I reported to them myself - numerous times I reported to this diocese myself."

James Faluszczak is a former priest and abuse survivor who has been quite outspoken in his desire for Bishop Richard Malone's resignation from the Buffalo Diocese, and he's calling for an end to Bishop Donald Trautman's ministry. Faluszczak alleges that Trautman knew of Freeman's abuse, yet allowed him to remain active within the church, so he's asking that Malone and Bishop Lawrence Persico, of Erie, prevent Trautman from being in ministry.

"It is high time that the bishops...suspend the public ministry on Donald Trautman," said Faluszczak. "Bishop Persico has been aware of multiple sets of allegations of coverup by Bishop Trautman for at least a year."

Listen to Barr's full press conference below:

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