Legal Issues Examined in Priest Sex Allegation

By Elisha Anderson
Detroit Free Press
November 1, 2011

The Oakland County Prosecutor's Office is reviewing the statute of limitations to determine how to proceed with a sexual misconduct allegation turned over by the Archdiocese of Detroit involving one of its priests.

The Rev. Gary Schulte, who was pastor at St. Sylvester Catholic Church in Warren for 17 years, has been restricted from public ministry by the archdiocese. He also was placed on paid administrative leave.The Free Press has been unable to reach Schulte for comment.

The case being investigated by the diocese involves a male under the age of 18. It was reported in September to the victim assistance coordinator for the archdiocese, church officials said.

"The first issue that we have to look at is would this alleged incident, or any incident, be barred by the statute of limitations?" said Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton.

If the answer is no, the case would need to be referred to an investigative agency such as the sheriff's office or a local police department, he said.

The archdiocese has not disclosed when or where the reported misconduct occurred. An official with the prosecutor's office said it is alleged to have occurred in the 1990s. The statute of limitations has changed over the years, so it's not yet clear how long prosecutors had after the alleged incident to bring charges.

Schulte was ordained a priest of the Detroit archdiocese in 1972 and has worked in Clawson, Beverly Hills, Warren, Royal Oak and Madison Heights throughout his nearly 40-year career.

The church has made no decision of guilt. Schulte's sister, Gail Schulte, told the Free Press on Sunday that she does not believe the allegation and said that her brother would never do something like that.

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