Prosecutor Didn't Charge Priest after Reviewing Case
Marine City Pastor Removed after 15-Year-Old Accusations Surface

By Angela Mullins
Times Herald [Port Huron MI]
February 7, 2003

An accusation at least 15 years old of sexual misconduct against a local Roman Catholic priest was reviewed last spring by the Macomb County prosecutor's office, the Archdiocese of Detroit said Thursday.

Authorities in Macomb County chose not to seek charges against the Rev. James Wysocki, 62, church officials said.

The archdiocese on Saturday removed Wysocki as pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Marine City and administrator of St. Mark Parish on Harsens Island. He was placed on administrative leave based on a church review board's decision that the accusation, which involved a minor, was substantive. No details have been made public. Wysocki was pastor at St. Mary Queen of Creation Catholic Church in New Baltimore from 1977 to 1990.

New Baltimore was the only Macomb County parish Wysocki served before coming to Holy Cross in Marine City in 1992, according to the archdiocese.

He was a pastor in Plymouth from 1990 to 1992.

Bill Harding, chief of operations in the Macomb County prosecutor's office, said the archdiocese last year reviewed about 12 allegations involving several priests, but he refused to say if Wysocki was among them. All files have since been returned to the archdiocese, he said.

"With most of the cases, too much time had passed (for criminal charges)," Harding said.

Rich Laskos, a spokesman for the archdiocese, refused to name the church where Wysocki was ministering at the time of the accusation and refused to give the year the accused misconduct occurred.

"(The allegations) were turned over to the appropriate county where the incident allegedly occurred," Laskos said.

"The allegations were made to us within the past 15 years, but the alleged incidents could have occurred before that time."

The Rev. George Browne has been appointed temporary administrator for Holy Cross and St. Mark. He will be assisted on Harsens Island by the Rev. Sigismund Kowalczyk. No timeline for the investigation has been set.

Wysocki and Kowalczyk did not return phone calls Thursday. Browne declined to comment.

In April, church officials agreed to provide prosecutors in the six-county archdiocese with reports of alleged sexual abuse or sexual misconduct allegations made in the past 15 years.

Officials weren't able to seek charges in many cases because of statute-of-limitations issues.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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