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Priest Sex Abuse Investigation Earns WKBW National Award

Topic: Investigative Reporting
Posted on 5/6/2019

Scripps’ ABC affiliate WKBW Buffalo, N.Y., earned recognition by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) for its work to uncover child sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Western New York.

WKBW won for its 2018 investigative series, Fall from Grace: How Buffalo’s Bishop Hid Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. As a result of its initial reporting, a source within the Buffalo diocese agreed to work with WKBW investigative reporter Charlie Specht and photojournalist Jeff Wick, providing the investigative team with evidence of a church cover-up. The FBI launched a criminal investigation centered on the leadership of the diocese, and more victims have come forward to tell their stories exclusively to Specht.

“The persistent and careful storytelling of Charlie, Jeff and the WKBW I-team brought to light a story with difficult subject matter and tragic consequences for the children involved,” said Brian Lawlor, Scripps’ president of local media. “We are proud of the team’s relentless pursuit of the truth and their commitment to holding the powerful accountable.”

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