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March 19, 2018 - 3:36pm

Priest who served 12 years at St. Mary's in Batavia denies sexual abuse allegations

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, St. Mary's, news, notify.

A priest assigned to St. Mary's in Batavia for 12 years starting in 1991 has denied allegations that he sexually molested three people during his time with the Buffalo Diocese.

The Buffalo News has reported that three men have claimed that they were molested by Rev. Donald Becker, including one who said he was paid a settlement by the church.

While the News did not report Becker's connection to St. Mary's, a spokesman for the diocese said he was assigned as pastor there for a six-year term in March 1991 and reappointed pastor in March 1997. His second term ended in March 2003.

The News reports that Becker served nine parishes in the diocese from 1968 through 2002, including: St. Mark's in Rushford; St. Mary's of the Assumption in Lancaster; St. Bonaventure in West Seneca; SS. Peter & Paul in Hamburg; Nativity of Our Lord in Orchard Park; St. Stephen's on Grand Island; and St. Agatha's in Buffalo.

Becker, who now lives in Florida, told the News that he retired for medical reasons. He suffers from Parkinson's disease.

Two of the men who spoke to the News, but were not named in the story, said they were teens when they encountered Becker. The other said he was 9 years old.

The accusations against Becker has apparently increased pressure for the diocese to be more transparent about priests accused of sexual abuse.

Det. Eric Hill said there have been no criminal complaints against Becker in the City of Batavia and there is no current investigation since there have been no complaints.

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