Austin Academy admissions director faces sex-abuse charges

The Oakland Press

The director of admissions for Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township was charged Wednesday with child sexual-abuse activity involving the use of a computer, authorities said.

Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, a resident of Macomb Township, is charged with:

• Child sexual-abuse activity, a 20-year felony;

• Two counts of using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime, one a 15-year felony and the other a four-year felony;

• Accosting children for immoral purposes, a four-year felony.

Sturza was arraigned Wednesday via video link between the Macomb County Jail and 42-2 District Court in Romeo. Bond was set at $50,000. He is scheduled to return to court for a hearing Dec. 9.

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the Archdiocese of Detroit, which operates the Austin Academy, prompted the investigation when officials notified police as soon as they became aware of the allegations.

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