Former Jackson music teacher facing 10-20 years in prison after sexual abuse plea

Detroit News [Detroit MI]

June 18, 2021

By Beth LeBlanc

A former music teacher is facing 10 to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse charges dating to his tenure at a Jackson Catholic school in the 1970s. 

Joseph Comperchio pleaded guilty Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office. 

Nessel’s office in September charged Comperchio with six counts of criminal sexual conduct for sexually abusing two children and added five new counts in October related two individuals.

At the time of his arraignment, Comperchio was living in Fort Myers, Florida, but the charges stem from his work as a drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s, Nessel’s office said.

“We remain indebted to the survivors who have come forward in order to share their stories,” Nessel said in a statement. “Their bravery is directly correlated with this accountability, and we will continue to ensure their voices are heard.”  

In addition to the prison term he faces, Comperchio will have to register as a sex offender and will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring. 

His sentence will be the harshest so far of the cases Nessel’s office has prosecuted in a wide-ranging investigation into clergy abuse in Michigan.

As of October, 11 men had been charged in the investigation that began in 2018 under Republican former Attorney General Bill Schuette.

Comperchio is the fourth man to plead guilty of those charged. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 4.