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Lawsuit alleges sexual abuse by seven St. Mary's High School students in a locker room

Posted at 4:33 PM, Feb 02, 2020

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — A lawsuit filed Friday against the Diocese of Buffalo and St. Mary's High School by a former St. Mary's student alleges sexual abuse by seven St. Mary's students.

The lawsuit alleges on February 9th, 2016 the plaintiff and seven students were left unsupervised in the boy's locker room at St. Mary's High School and as a result the seven students engaged in "intentional, unpermitted and offensive sexual contact with plaintiff, a minor."

According to the lawsuit, the school knew or should have known of similar incidents involving some or all of the seven students.

The seven students were recruited to St. Mary's from other schools to play on the school's sports teams, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit alleges the school did not report the alleged sexual abuse to police and instead expelled the plaintiff from St. Mary's High School two weeks later on February 23rd, 2016.

The suit, filed under the Child Victims Act, alleges negligence and retaliatory actions resulted in the plaintiff sustaining physical, emotional, and psychological injuries, pain and suffering.

A spokesperson with the Diocese of Buffalo issued the following statement to 7 Eyewitness News:

St. Mary’s was indeed a diocesan high school at an earlier period, but for decades it has been an independent high school. The Diocese of Buffalo continues to own the building which is leased by the school. As such, the school has its own corporation, has its own board of trustees and governance structure. It is our understanding that the matter in question was handled by school administrators, who promptly contacted local law enforcement authorities, according to the guidelines and protocols governing the conduct of students and disciplinary measures. It is important to note that under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the school, faculty, administrators and board are prohibited from commenting on disciplinary matters pertaining to current and former students.
Greg Tucker, Interim Communications Director