Former Jackson Catholic school teacher sentenced in abuse case

WSYM-TV - Fox 47 [Lansing MI]

August 4, 2021

By Chris Lewis

A former Catholic school music teacher in Jackson will serve more than a decade in prison as the fourth person convicted in the Michigan attorney general’s ongoing clergy abuse investigation.

Joseph Comperchio, 67, of Fort Myers, Florida, was charged last September for sexually abusing two children. In those cases, he faced two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Then in October, five new counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving two new individuals were added.

In June, Comperchio pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The charges stemmed from Comperchio’s time as the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Susan. B. Jordan sentenced Comperchio on Wednesday to 12 to 30 years in prison. He must also register as a sex offender.

Joseph Comperchio.  Photo by: Lee County Sheriff's Office, 2021
Joseph Comperchio. Photo by: Lee County Sheriff’s Office, 2021

“The dedication of our clergy abuse team – and the willingness of brave survivors to tell their stories – ensured justice was served against Mr. Comperchio,” Michigan Attorney Genera Dana Nessel said in a statement. “Let this prison sentence be a reminder that we are here to listen to victims of abuse and pursue accountability on their behalf.”

He was the fourth individual to plead guilty to various charges as a result of Nessel’s clergy abuse investigation.

Previously, a plea deal with former Upper Peninsula priest Gary Jacobs yielded a sentence of between eight and 15 years in prison.

Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their respective cases in 2019.

To learn more about Nessel’s investigation into clergy abuse or to submit information, visit the Attorney General’s website. Tips can also be provided by calling 844-324-3374.