Waukesha judge orders Pewaukee priest to stand trial for felony child sex abuse

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 30, 2018

By Peter Isely

A Waukesha County judge this morning has determined that there is sufficient evidence for Fr. Charles Hanel to stand trial for felony sexual assault of a child. Hanel was arrested in September for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in the confessional. The alleged assault took place at Queen of Apostles Church in Pewaukee where Hanel is pastor.

Hanel, through his defense team, has been unusually aggressive in out of court statements concerning the case, challenging both the alleged victim and her account of the assault, along with suggesting that the case was being brought as a “referendum” on the sex abuse scandal in the church. She is a child, however, and unable to defend herself in public, as he can. Hanel’s superior, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, needs to make it very clear that while Hanel can hire an expensive legal team, the church will not tolerate public messages that can only result in dissuading or intimidating potential victims of priest abuse, especially children, from coming forward. Hanel is, presumably, still salaried by the archdiocese and is taking care of his housing and living expenses.

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