JAMESTOWN — A deceased priest who served at St. James’ and St. John’s Roman Catholic churches has been named in two Child Victim Act lawsuits in state Supreme Court in Chautauqua County, according to Horowitz Law of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Fr. Ralph P. Federico was named in the two lawsuits filed in July 2020 in state Supreme Court in Chautauqua County.
According to the lawsuits, both victims were 10 years old at the time of the abuse. The first lawsuit states that the abuse occurred in 1976 when Federico served St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Jamestown. The plaintiff was a student and participated in youth activities at St. John’s, where he met Federico.
The second allegation claims Federico allegedly engaged in “unpermitted sexual contact” around 1974 while serving at Our Lady of Pompeii in Depew.
Federico was also named in a lawsuit filed in August 2019, when the Child Victims Act first went into effect, allowing past sexual abuse victims to file claims. A man told the 7 Eyewitness News (diocesan documents confirm) that he reported an allegation against Federico in 2018. The victim was 12 years old when the abuse occurred in the early 1970s. The victim claims he was an altar boy at Our Lady of Pompeii in Depew, where Federico was pastor, but the abuse occurred when Federico took him to a trailer he owned in Mayville.
Federico died in 2007, 12 years before the lawsuits came to light. He was 80 years old. Federico was ordained in 1952 and retired in 1997.
He served at Our Lady of Pompeii, Lancaster, in the 1950s, Brothers of Mercy Nursing Home in Clarence in the 1960s, St John in Olean in the 1960s, St. James in the 1960s, St. John’s from 1970-76, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Bemus Point, from 1978 to 1997.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo in New York.
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