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Priest accused of sexually abusing teenager in Lake Luzerne decades ago

The Rev. Charles A. Gaffigan, a former priest at a church in Lake Luzerne was named in one of 52 sex abuse lawsuits filed last week against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Gaffigan retired in 2011 from Holy Mother and Child Parish, is accused of sexually abusing a child from 1992 to about 1994 at what was then Holy Infancy Church in Lake Luzerne.

Gaffigan, who died in 2015 after battling cancer, was appointed as pastor of what was then Holy Infancy Church in Lake Luzerne in 1991.

He also served as associate pastor in St. Michael’s in South Glens Falls in the 1970s and at St. Mary’s in Glens Falls in the early 1980s.

In 2011 he was found guilty of child rape and indecent assault for sexually abusing teenagers he met at local parishes.

The NY state Legislature recently extended the deadline to file cases under the Child Victims Act by one year.

Diocese spokeswoman Mary DeTurris Poust said all allegations of sexual abuse are taken very seriously.

“Behind every claim is a suffering person who needs our compassion and assistance. The diocese has not yet been served in any of the 52 cases filed today,” she said in an email. “Once that occurs, the diocese will review the documents and allegations and take whatever actions may be necessary to inform and safeguard the public. Bishop (Edward) Scharfenberger remains committed to providing assisttance to survivors while allegations are being investigated and beyond.”

As a result of the Child Victims Act’s one-year window, victims must swiftly assess and prepare any potential claims they may have against the entities responsible for their abuse. Herman Law represents hundreds of victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York, many of whom have been victims of the widespread problem of sex abuse within the Catholic Church.

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