A former priest at Saint Patrick’s Church in Owego is maintaining his innocence as he has now been removed from ministry by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

Church officials recently announced it was restricting the Reverend Thomas Valenti from public ministry or presenting himself as a priest under allegations made in June that he allegedly sexually abused a minor in the 1970s.

The Diocese issued a statement saying its review revealed information alleging Valenti had engaged in objectionable and inappropriate behaviors with minors over 40 years ago.

Valenti has said he plans to appeal the decision to Rome.