Former Yonkers priest named in child sex abuse case

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YONKERS -

A former priest at St. John the Baptist Church in Yonkers is one of eight clergymen accused of sexual abuse in Rochester, New York.

The accusations came to light Wednesday after an attorney called on the Diocese of Rochester to release records on the eight priests accused of sexually abusing minors between 1950 and 1978.

The Rev. Thomas Valenti is currently working alongside children at three Rochester churches.

Monsignor James Christopher Maloney, of St. John the Baptist, said he knew about the accusations against Valenti when the latter first joined the Yonkers church in 2004. 

He said the Rochester diocese had already investigated the case and cleared Valenti of wrongdoing.

"The people on the scene who knew him, knew the accusations, knew the accuser, said that there was absolutely no basis for this," Maloney said.

Maloney said Valenti interacted with children often during his 10 years as an associate pastor at St. John the Baptist. He said Valenti was a good role model for both young adults and children.

"We have to bend over backwards to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect innocent kids, innocent people," Maloney said.

The attorney who publicized the charges against Valenti is calling for the priest to resign from his position in the Rochester parishes.

News 12 reached out to the Rev. Valenti at the Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick Parish, where he now serves, but did not get a response.

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