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Dunkirk priest placed on leave after complaint of abuse

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church

A Dunkirk priest has been placed on administrative leave after a complaint of abuse.

An open letter to parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church from Bishop Richard Malone says the Diocese has received a complaint about Rev. Dennis Riter and the District Attorney has been notified. The letter continues that Diocesan policy requires the priest be put on leave as the investigation proceeds, but does "not imply any determination of the truth or falsity of the complaint."

On March 11, Riter posted comments after media prominently featured former priest Norman Orsolits, who admitted abusing dozens of youth during the 1970s.

"These events have disheartened all of us. I feel shame that fellow priests abused their position of trust and caused untold suffering to their victims," Riter said. "I know that you are also shaken, since you want to look up to priests as your leaders....No matter what, the safety of children must be our first consideration!"

Riter was ordained in the 1971 class of St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora.

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