Charges Reduced for Priest Accused of Sexual Assault

By Anne Jungen
LaCrosse Tribune
September 20, 2011

Prosecutors today reduced a felony charge filed against a Wisconsin priest accused of groping a 15-year-old girl last month while he was in La Crosse.

The Rev. David Szatkowski, 37, now is charged fourth-degree sexual assault and disorderly conduct.

He was charged second-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 16 on Aug. 10 after the teen said he grabbed her breast outside the downtown La Crosse Radisson in early August, according to the complaint.

She told police a drunken man approached her group of friends and put his arms around her shoulders before groping her. One of her friends snapped a picture of the man on a Szatkowski on a cell phone.

Investigators tracked Szatkowski, of Franklin, Wis., to a canon law conference for canonists and civil attorneys at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

He identified himself in the cellphone picture but denied assaulting the teen, the complaint states.

Szatkowski resigned from his position as an assistant professor of canon law and director of the English as a second language program at Franklin's Sacred Heart School of Theology. He is not assigned to a parish.

Szatkowski's next hearing is set for Oct. 7.


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