BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Florida woman has accused a retired Buffalo school teacher of fraudulently transferring her home’s deed to her adopted children to erase it from her assets in case she is hit with a judgment in a separate Child Victims Act lawsuit filed by the same woman.
Patricia Caruana on July 8, 2021, added retired teacher Mary Boblak to her Child Victims Act case against the Buffalo School system, accusing her of sexual abuse beginning in 1973 when she was 11 years old.
Property records show that nine days after Boblak’s former attorney was served with the lawsuit, Boblak conveyed the deed to her Kenmore home to her two adopted children without any compensation “with actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud the Plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Our claim is that the property was transferred without any compensation and that it was being done to avoid having that asset available to the defendant in the event of a judgement against her,” said Caruana’s attorney, Christopher O’Brien.
O’Brien is asking a State Supreme Court judge to void the transfer and to appoint a receiver to take charge of the property until the Child Victims Act case is resolved.
O’Brien said the abuse case includes not one, but two rare admissions from Boblak that she engaged in inappropriate conduct with a child.
“From my work in prosecuting cases against pedophiles, it is rare that they will ever admit to having done anything wrong,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien included with the new lawsuit an Aug. 28, 2019, sworn statement from Boblak, in which she admits to “befriending” Caruana, and engaging in “inappropriate physical closeness and touching between us.”
Boblak wrote in her sworn statement that the two slept in the same bed more than 20 times and other teachers knew about the relationship.
In addition, O’Brien said Boblak admitted in a deposition that she took the child into her bed for a sexual relationship.
Boblak did not return a message seeking comment. Her attorney, Anthony Rupp, did not immediately provide any comment about the new lawsuit.
But three years ago, Boblak denied she molested any children and told a Buffalo News reporter that she was “blindsided” when she gave the sworn statement to an investigator for the plaintiff.
O’Brien said Boblak cannot be forced to sell her property if his client obtained a judgment in her favor in the Child Victims Act case.
Instead, O’Brien said his client could place what essentially would be a lien on the home if Boblak were to attempt to transfer or sell the property after any judgement is filed against her. That way, any proceeds from the sale or transfer would go toward paying off the judgment.
Boblak taught at Riverside Academy, where the plaintiff was a student from 1973 to 1976. But Boblak was not the plaintiff’s teacher; they met in school through another student, who was a close friend to the plaintiff.
Boblak said in her sworn statement that she maintained a close relationship with Caruana for years and they attended events and other outings together with friends.
“Once she went to high school our friendship subsided and we did go our separate ways,” Boblak wrote.
During the 1993-94 school year, for the first time, Caruana notified the school system by letter of the alleged abuse she said occurred in the 1970s. Around that time, Caruana also detailed the nature of the sexual abuse in a deposition for the school system.
But the school system never disciplined Boblak, O’Brien said.
Instead, the school system offered Boblak early retirement, which allowed her to retain her benefits, the lawsuit alleged.
Boblak wrote in the sworn statement that she recalled being asked to attend a meeting in City Hall where the Board of Education made her aware of the allegations and offered her early retirement, “rather than address the issue brought forth.”
Boblak wrote that she was at an age to retire and “felt I wanted to put the issue behind me.”
“On reflection of that time and my relationship with a student, I received no help from the Buffalo Board of Education,” Boblak wrote. “I feel that the Administration should have gotten involved and provided me with assistance or guidance while I was clearly in a relationship with a student.”
Caruana’s Child Victims Act lawsuit alleged the school system lacked appropriate policies to protect students.
Buffalo Public Schools denied the allegations in its reply to the Child Victims Act lawsuit. But school officials said in 2019 that there are protocols in place now that would never allow a teacher accused of sexual abuse to retire without going through any disciplinary process.