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Alleged sex abuse victim comes forward

Posted at 11:21 AM, Aug 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-25 11:21:57-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Richard Brownell has been keeping a secret for over 50 years, Saturday he finally told his story.

Brownell says he was abused by Father John Aurelio in 1968 at St. Gerard's in Buffalo. He stood by his wife and lawyer in front of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese Saturday to announce he's suing the church.

This was not Brownell's first time speaking about Father Aurelio. In 1993, he was interviewed by 7 Eyewitness News and stated "he came in and exposed himself to me was trying to get my pants down wanted me to touch him and I was successful in fighting him off. For some reason he gave up on me."

Brownell says he couldn't tell the truth in 1993 because he was too embarrassed and ashamed. He wants other victims of abuse come forward to share their stories.

He was front and center in Albany when the Child Victims act was passed by the legislature, emotional for what it meant for him and other victims of abuse.

Going forward he hopes for action in the Diocese of Buffalo.

The diocese released this statement Saturday night regarding the matter:

As predicted and anticipated, a large number of lawsuits have been filed naming the Diocese and other defendants. Of course, a lawsuit is simply an allegation which must be proven in a court of law. The Diocese is in the process of evaluating these claims to determine whether there is merit to the claims. If there is merit, efforts will be made to resolve the cases in a fair and expeditious manner. If not, the lawsuits will be defended.