AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest in upstate New York who was placed on leave amid accusations of child sex abuse says he knows he's innocent.

WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reports the complaint against the Rev. Samuel Venne centers on his time at Our Lady of Pompei in Depew in 1980.

Venne says he has not been told the accuser's name, and his attorney has not been able to give evidence to show his innocence.

Venne is one of 18 Buffalo-area priests placed on leave as part of an investigation into alleged abuse. The investigation process abides by Catholic canon law and not the American justice system.

The 76-year-old Venne says a dog "has more legal rights than a priest who's been practicing his vocation for 40 years."

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