Priest Facing Sex Case Is Removed As Principal

By Kinga Borondy
October 7, 1997

A priest charged with sexually abusing a young boy over seven years has been relieved of his duties as principal of St. James High School in ville.

The Rev. Peter Osinski, 54, was being held on $25,000 bail. He was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, charges that carry a maximum term of 10 years each.

Handcuffed and wearing jail blues, Osinski appeared in court yesterday before Superior Court Judge Peter J. Giovine. He entered no plea, however, and was returned to jail.

Osinski was arrested in his school office Saturday. He had been principal for eight years and had never been the subject of sex allegations, according to David Coghlan, a spokesman for the Diocese of Camden.

Prosecutors say Osinski's abuse began in 1983, when the boy was 6 years old, and continued for seven years. All of the assaults occurred on Long Beach Island while the priest was on vacation, officials said.

"The two came into contact in a neighborhood setting when both were on Long Beach Island," said Deborah Hanlon-Schron, supervising assistant prosecutor in Ocean County.

The boy, now 19 years old, came forward in the last two months and the arrest was made over the weekend at the priest's school office.

The statute of limitations for prosecution in such cases is five years from the date of the victim's 18th birthday, she said.


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