Former Priest Goes to Court, Charged with Child Sex Assault

By Melissa McCrady
Today's TMJ
September 1, 2009

WAUKESHA - A former priest who worked in Brookfield has been charged with sexually assaulting a child.

James Blume faced a judge for the first time Monday morning at the Waukesha County Courthouse.

Blume taught religious education classes at St. Luke's Parish in Brookfield. The alleged victim and the victim's family were members there.

"Next to homicide, this is probably the most heinous crime a human being can commit," said Peter Isely, the Midwest director of SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests).

"He took boys, grade school and above on field trips, camping trips. (He) was gone all the time."

Blume home diocese is Fort Wayne, Indiana, but he spent most of the 1970's working within the Milwaukee archdiocese - specifically at St. Luke's Parish.

He is also believed to have worked at St. Charles' boys facility in Wauwatosa.

Blume now lives in Florida, but was arrested for violating Wisconsin's "fleeing sex offender" law.

At least two child sex abuse civil suits were filed against the Fort Wayne diocese regarding Blume.

The charges against Blume are the first that he's faced in the state of Wisconsin.

"He completely denies any inappropriate relationships with this alleged victim."

But Isely believes there are more victims out there.

"Let's bring them some justice and relief, because they deserve it," said Isely.

SNAP claims that Blume had his priestly duties removed in 2008. Blume is scheduled to return to court in October.


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