BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Attorneys are calling it "the worst-kept secret" in South Buffalo, and others who attended Catholic school in the 1960s and 1970s agree: Robert "Ollie" Weber was long rumored to have molested kids.
The allegations are now spilling out on paper in a Child Victims Act lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Buffalo. West Seneca man Jack Maloney claims Weber, who died in 1998, fondled him in the early 1960s at St. Thomas Aquinas School on Abbott Road, where Weber was assigned as a gym teacher.
Maloney lived with the pain for years, but said he has since met five others who say they were abused by Weber, too. He hopes his story will spur others to talk about their own abuse.
"I'm hoping if somebody needs to or wants to, this might be the catalyst for them," Weber said by phone at a news conference Thursday. "It just ate away at me, that he was just...no one's complaining, and this was a serial pedophile."
Weber appears to have had great access to children, as he was the onetime president of the MUNY (municipal) baseball league for the City of Buffalo, in addition to being a gym teacher and coach.
Maloney said his parents wanted to pursue legal action when he told them of the alleged abuse, but Fr. William Dickerson discouraged them from doing so.
The Diocese of Buffalo did not respond to a request for comment, but attorneys for the diocese's law firm, Connors LLP, are fighting the claims in state court.
"We're still dealing with the Diocese of Buffalo covering up, denying it and saying, 'Oh, well we didn't do anything wrong, even back in the 1960s...when the Maloney family actually wanted to do something about this,'" said survivor advocate Robert Hoatson, who held the news conference.
Click here to read the lawsuit.