Detroit Pastor Put on Leave for Sex Investigation

By Edward L. Cardenas
Detroit News
September 9, 2002

Detroit -- The Archdiocese of Detroit has placed the pastor of St. Mary's of Redford in Detroit on administrative leave as it investigates an allegation of sexual abuse involving the priest.

The Rev. Ron Williams, 50, went on leave Sunday after the archdiocese received a sexual abuse allegation involving a minor and Williams dating to the early years of his priesthood. The complaint against Williams had been referred to the Wayne County prosecutor's office, but no action was taken because the statute of limitations had expired on the case.

Parishioners were told about Williams' removal on Sunday, archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath said.

Williams is the 17th priest in the Archdiocese of Detroit who has been removed from his parish, either by Cardinal Adam Maida or other religious superiors. Five have been stripped of their ministry and 12 have been removed pending an investigation.

Four former Metro Detroit priests were charged last month in Wayne County with sex crimes, concluding for now an investigation involving the conduct of 19 priests over the past 30 years.

Williams is one of 15 priests who would have faced felony charges as well if their cases were not barred from prosecution by the state's statute of limitations.

Williams was ordained in 1979, when he became an associate pastor at St. Mary's of Redford. During the 1980s, Williams served at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Harper Woods, Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Detroit and St. Juliana-St. John Berchmans in Detroit before returning to St. Mary's of Redford in 1993.

While serving as a priest in Metro Detroit, Williams served as a chaplain for the Detroit Police Department, the Girl Scouts and Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods.


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