|Prosecutor: No Charges against Priest Accused of Sexual Misconduct
By Oralandar Brand-Williams
November 1, 2011
The 66-year-old Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct involving a teenage boy will not face criminal charges in the matter, said an Oakland County's prosecutor.
The Statute of Limitations prevents prosecutors from filing charges against Fr. Gary Schulte in the case because the alleged crime does not fall under First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, a more severe offense.
"What they have submitted to us, we don't have a basis of initiating charges," said Oakland County's Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton. "If (police or the church) has new allegations or new information, we would be happy to investigate them."
Schulte was relieved of his priestly duties Friday at St. Sylvester Catholic Church in Warren by Archdiocese of Detroit officials after they received information with "sufficient substance" last month that the longtime pastor had committed sexual misconduct.
The allegations against Schulte stem from a 1991 incident with a 16-year-old boy in Madison Heights. Schulte had served at several Oakland County parishes before he was assigned to St. Sylvester in 1994.
Walton said he could not discuss the details of the case because the investigation will not result in charges but said the alleged victim still may be able to seek a civil lawsuit against Schulte or the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Efforts to reach Schulte have not been successful. A woman who identified herself as his sister says she believes the priest is innocent.
The complaint against Schulte was received by the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the church.
Archdiocese of Detroit spokesman John Kohn said the church also has launched its own investigation.
The Rev. Thomas Sutherland, a senior and retired priest, is serving as the church's temporary pastor.
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