Catholic Priest Gets 10 Years for Molestation

July 30, 1998

A Roman Catholic priest who admitted molesting a 7-year-old boy was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday.

The Rev. Peter J. Osinski, 55, of Pennsville, could be paroled in less than two years under the sentence handed down in Toms River by Superior Court Judge Peter J. Giovine.

Osinski, former principal of St. James High School in Carneys Point, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of sexual assault, admitting he sexually touched the youth on 12 occasions between 1983 and 1990 - sometimes in the boy's own bedroom while his parents were home, sometimes at a vacation home in Brant Beach.

"All I have to say is that it has really affected my life, my health, my career," said the victim, 21, while his parents and fiancee sobbed in the gallery. "I haven't even come half a footstep close to recovery. I've gone through so much in my life."

Osinski was arrested after the victim told his parents of the years of abuse. He was originally charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, but the endangerment charge was dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

Osinski, who was relieved of his duties immediately following his Oct. 4, 1997, arrest, has been undergoing treatment at St. John Vianney Hospital in Downington, Pa.

He has been treated in a unit for clergy having sexual problems, according to psychologist Thomas Tyrrell, his therapist. Osinski, who was molested himself as a 16-year-old, does not pursue children as his "primary love object of choice," according to Tyrrell.

Giovine granted Osinski's request to serve his time in a state prison instead of the state Adult and Diagnostic Center at Avenel, where sex offenders are normally housed.

Osinski would likely have served more time at Avenel, according to Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Bonnie Peterson.


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