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  Priest Finishes Prison Term
Pleaded Guilty in Sexual Assault

By Ann Marie Somma
Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
October 24, 2005

New Britain — A visiting priest from Poland who pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting a teenage girl is scheduled to be released from prison today after serving a nine-month sentence.

The Rev. Roman Kramek, 43, likely will be transported to Hartford from MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, then turned over to U.S. Immigration and Naturalization authorities in New York before being deported to Poland.

Kramek came to New Britain in 2002 from Szyleny in northern Poland to serve temporarily at Sacred Heart Church during the Christmas season.

On Dec. 24, 2002, he was charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old New Britain High School student on Dec. 18, 2002, when he was supposed to be counseling her about a previous rape.

Police say he later told a Polish-speaking police officer that he fondled and had sex with the girl to show her that sex with men could be a positive experience. Kramek denies he admitted to the officer that he had sex with the girl.

The prosecution produced as evidence a patch of Kramek's dry saliva found on the girl's breast.

In a recent interview in prison, Kramek maintained that he was innocent and said his prison term has strengthened his belief in God. He said he accepted a plea agreement to avoid trial and a possible 10-year prison sentence.

"I believe this is God's will, someday I'll be able to understand why it happened," Kramek said.

The young woman, now 20, said Kramek destroyed her life and faith in God.

"It has torn me up inside. I ended in a psychiatric ward. I cut myself and I'm on medication," she said last week.

"I can't pray. I feel I betrayed God. I didn't do anything to stop it [the assault] because I was frozen. I let it happen," she said.

Kramek's arrest stunned the local Polish community. Some doubted the young woman's allegations. Others formed an organization, called Polish Brotherly Help, to raise funds for Kramek's defense, posted his bail and hired a prominent attorney to defend the priest.

The young woman said the same Polish community shunned her.

"The people who whispered at me, stared at me, pointed me out, bothered my grandmother, they are the Polish people," she said.

 
 

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