A case in which a woman accused a priest of sexually assaulting her in the rectory of downtown Buffalo church has been resolved.
According to BuffaloNews.com, the 37-year-old female plaintiff accused Rev. Secondo Casarotto of giving her a tour of St. Anthony of Padua Church when he sexually assaulted her and masturbated. The woman reported the incident in March 2011 and formally pressed charges three months later, though the incident allegedly occurred two years prior. During the investigation, a second woman came forward with accusations that the priest made unwanted sexual advances while in her home in 2008.
The settlement payout will be split between the diocese and the Scalabrinian Fathers (St. Charles Borromeo missionaries), where Casarotto has returned.
The unidentified woman said, “As a Catholic, I struggled very deeply, and the silence was killing me. The secret I had to hide from the people I loved most hurt so much. Because of my Catholic upbringing, I thought I could just forgive him and move on.” She said she hopes her story will give victims of sexual assault the “strength to report it and seek therapy.”