Second Person Accuses Priest of Abuse

By James Gonser
Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, HI)
August 2, 2002

A second allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor was made against the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III shortly after initial allegations in May, the Honolulu Catholic Diocese said yesterday.

Bukoski was removed from his position as pastor of Maria Lanakila Church in Lahaina, Maui, after allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor more than 20 years ago were made public. A second person came forward in May claiming that Bukoski assaulted him more than 25 years ago while Bukoski was a member of the Sacred Hearts Community preparing for ordination to the priesthood.

The diocese released a statement yesterday saying the second allegation was made after Bukoski had been placed on administrative leave. Any decision regarding Bukoski's return to active ministry has now been delayed indefinitely, Honolulu Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo said.

Bukoski, 49, denied the initial allegation of misconduct. He could not be reach for comment yesterday.

The Diocesan Standing Committee for Sexual Misconduct is reviewing both allegations, and church officials are still awaiting the results of a psychological evaluation of Bukoski administered by Therapy and Renewal Associates on June 12.

The report will include the results of a battery of tests, including a polygraph test. It is expected in mid-August, said Patrick Downes, spokesman for the diocese.

No details about the alleged misconduct have been released in either case.

After the first allegations were made public, Maria Lanakila parishioners began circulating petitions, writing letters, wearing buttons, making signs, and holding vigils and prayer services in support of the priest.

Parish members could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Kauai-born Bukoski was ordained in 1979 and received his first pastoralship in 1998 at Maria Lanakila.

The diocesan committee, which reviews reports of sexual misconduct by priests in Hawaii, has been investigating several other allegations that have surfaced since the subject of sexual abuse by clergy gained national attention in recent months.


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