Accused Buffalo priest held gun to victim’s head during abuse, attorney says

Local News

Father Michael Freeman was included in a list of 42 accused priests released by the Buffalo Diocese back in March. 

News 4 spoke to one of Freeman’s alleged victims in August.

Paul Barr reported his alleged abuse as a teen at the hands of Fr. Freeman to the Buffalo Diocese in 1981; Freeman remained in ministry until 1989. 

After Barr’s alleged abuse, Freeman preyed on another teenaged boy, according to attorney Steve Boyd. 

The alleged victim, now 48, no longer lives in western New York. Boyd, who represents him, described the allegations against Fr. Freeman, who is now deceased.

According to Boyd, Freeman often held a gun to his client’s head during the abuse. 

“This gentleman has told me that it wasn’t so much ‘I’ll put a gun to your head do this or else,’ but it was more of like this would get the priest excited if he a gun to his head. So it’s really sick behavior.”

According to Boyd, Freeman also traveled with the boy to Toronto, allegedly under the guise of saving male prostitutes, by introducing them to God. 

Instead, Boyd said Freeman would pay for sex, and also pay the prostitutes to engage in sex with his client. 

“He would sexually assault this boy and then tell the boy he was a sinner and use the sacrament of penance to forgive the boy’s sins,” Boyd told News 4. 

Freeman is also mentioned in a lengthy Pennsylvania Grand Jury report about clergy abuse. 

According to the report, the priest admitted to sexual misconduct on several occasions; police were not notified. 

Boyd noted that clergy are not mandatory reporters in the New York state, and thus aren’t required to report abuse in the same way as teachers or coaches would be. 

News 4 reached out to the Buffalo Diocese for a comment on this story, and to see why Freeman remained in ministry for as along as he did. We have not received a response. 

Boyd’s client is still waiting on details from the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program; other than stating they have received the claim, Boyd said he hasn’t heard anything from the IRCP.

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