(UPDATE 2:45 p.m.) The Diocese of Rochester released a statement, saying in part:
"The allegation against Father Thomas J. Valenti was investigated, reviewed and determined to be unsubstantiated. No further complaints of sexual abuse of a minor against Father Valenti have ever been received".
Read their full statement below:
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WENY) – Eight priests of the Diocese of Rochester have been accused of alleged sexual abuse of minor children that reportedly has gone on for decades.
This is according to a press release by Road to Recovery, a non-profit organization that advocates for survivors of sexual abuse.
Three of the priests, Fr. Eugene Emo, Fr. David Simon and Fr. Francis Vogt have been previously named as alleged sexual abusers of children.
Five other priests have been named as alleged sexual abusers for the first time. They are Fr. G. Stuart Hogan, Fr. Charles McCarthy, Fr. Gary Shaw, Fr. Richard Orlando and Fr. Thomas Valenti.
Road to Recovery initially discovered the reports after they say victims of the alleged abuse came forward and named the eight priests.
According to Rochester ABC Affiliate 13WHAM, Emo was arrested in 1996 and was subsequently dismissed from the clerical state in the church due to “behavior with young boys” and sent to a different parish. He apologized at his 1997 sentencing for damage he caused victims.
Simon has been assigned “to a life of prayer and penance”, with no additional public ministry possible. Vogt has died, according to the Diocese.
The five priests being named publicly for the first time, Stuart Hogan, Charles McCarthy, Gary Shaw, Richard Orlando and Thomas Valenti, are each accused by multiple survivors of abuse.
According to the press release, the alleged abuse happened “in a number of parishes and institutions in the Diocese of Rochester and other places”.
The press release also says one of these priests continues to be listed as a fully-functioning priest in the Diocese.
According to the website of Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick's Parish in Owego, Thomas Valenti currently works there as a parochial administrator.
In a news conference in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester, Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said 17 victims came forward. Their ages ranged between 52 and 77.
Garabedian also said the abuse spans 28 years and is calling on Bishop Matano of the Diocese of Rochester to say what he knows about these priests.
The region the Diocese covers 12 New York Counties: Monroe, Cayuga, Livingston, Wayne, Tioga, Tompkins, Ontario, Seneca, Schuyler, Yates, Steuben and Chemung.
We reached out to the Diocese of Rochester and are currently waiting for a reply.