South Buffalo man tells story of alleged sexual abuse by a retired priest

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A South Buffalo man claims he has been sexually abused by a retired priest of the Diocese of Buffalo.

Tuesday he’s shared his story for the first time.

Michael Whalen tells us this sexual abuse happened when he was just 14 years old.

He says he trusted the Priest from st. John Vianney Parish in Orchard Park.

But when he invited Whalen on a weekend long ski trip to his home in Springville, their relationship changed. And he claims that weekend of sexual abuse changed his entire life.

Whalen said, “It ruined by life. It ruined my first marriage, I don’t have a relationship with my daughter from my first marriage, the drugs and the alcohol, just consumed me.”

 52-year-old Michael Whalen says the alleged sexual abuse happened during a weekend ski trip south of Buffalo more than 40 years ago.
Whalen said, “He served us alcohol and smoked marijuana with us in the cabin, he tried to be that, “cool priest” doing this rock and roll mass, and trying to be friendly with the youth and all that.”
Whalen named Reverand Norbert Orsolits as his abuser.
The former priest has never been charged: As the statute of limitations has run out. Whalen said, “Back then, you trusted the priest, the police and the fireman. That’s who you go to if you have trouble.”
Robert Hoatson, a former priest and survivor of sexual abuse, is advocating on Whalen’s behalf. Now both Whalen and Hoatson want to support the Child Victims Act which is up for a vote in the senate this spring. Hoatson said, “We’re pressuring republicans in the senate to do the right thing, and let people have their day in court.”
The Diocese of Buffalo said in a written statement that Orsolits was removed from the ministry in 2003.
As for Whalen, now he wants to give other victims the strength to come forward. He said, “You don’t have to be afraid anymore. There is help out there, I want people to step forward, if this has happened to you step forward.”

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