Former Youngstown priest sues Diocese for defamation

Local News

William Smaltz claims his name was added to a list of probable sex offenders without a proper investigation

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A former priest in the Youngstown Diocese, who was removed from a list of accused sex offenders, has now filed a defamation lawsuit.

William Smaltz claims his name was added to the offender list without a proper investigation.

The suit claims Smaltz has suffered emotional distress since the diocese released the list almost two years ago.

Smaltz was ordained as a priest in 1956 and served the Church for 18 years.

In court documents, Smaltz said he was never interviewed as part of the investigation into the sexual abuse allegations. He maintains that the accuser “likely” confused him with another priest who was serving at the same parish as Smaltz.

On Oct. 30, 2018, the Youngstown Diocese released a list of names to the media that they deemed to be “credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” Smaltz’s name appeared on that list but was later removed.

Smaltz says even though his name was taken off the list the damage was already done, saying it damaged his character and reputation, according to court documents.

Smaltz also said in the court filing that the Diocese acted ” intentionally and recklessly.”

Smaltz’s wife, Noreen, is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The couple is asking for compensatory and punitive damages along with attorney fees and court costs.

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