Priest Won't Fight Extradition to L.A.

By Art Barnum
Chicago Tribune
January 14, 2003

A retired Los Angeles Catholic priest living in Darien is going to return to California to faces charges that he sexually abused a girl in the 1950s.

In November Darien police arrested Rev.

Matthew Michael Sprouffske, 73, who moved last year to the Carmelite Carefree Village retirement community, after Los Angeles police notified them of charges against him.

Sprouffske was released on bond, but told DuPage County Judge Robert Anderson he would fight extradition to California.

But last month, then-Gov. George Ryan, acting on a request from California, issued a governor's warrant ordering Sprouffske's arrest and transfer. Such warrants are standard across the U.S. when someone is arrested and fights extradition.

Sprouffske's lawyer, Dennis Harrison, told Anderson on Monday that his client would voluntarily return Tuesday to California and turn himself in to authorities. Sprouffske was suspended from the Carmelite order last year.

The girl he is accused of sexually abusing was younger than 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, reportedly between 1955 and 1959 when Sprouffske was assigned to Mt. Carmel High School in Los Angeles.


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