Investigation of Priest Continues, but Statute of Limitations Expired

By Tammy Stables Battaglia
Detroit Free Press
November 3, 2011

The Archdiocese of Detroit is continuing its investigation of a Warren priest, but authorities say the probe won't lead to criminal charges because the statute of limitations has expired.

Oakland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Paul Walton said the allegations against the Rev. Gary Schulte, 66, pastor of St. Sylvester Parish in Warren, are too old under the law to pursue legally. The allegations date to 1991.

"If someone comes up with other assertions that are not otherwise barred, we'll look at them," Walton said Wednesday.

The archdiocese placed Schulte on administrative leave and restricted him from public ministry effective Friday.

Walton said a man in his 30s reported that he was inappropriately touched by Schulte in Madison Heights in 1991 when he was 16. Schulte served as pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Madison Heights from 1983 until he became pastor of St. Sylvester in 1994, according to the diocese website.

The archdiocese forwarded the complaint to the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office after the man came forward in September, according to a statement issued by the church.

Archdiocese spokesman Joe Kohn said Wednesday that Schulte will remain on leave as the organization's investigation continues.

"What the prosecutor does or doesn't do doesn't impact the archdiocese's own process," Kohn said. "The allegations that were brought forth we found are of sufficient substance, but that's only the beginning of the process."

Schulte has not commented publicly about the allegations.

Schulte's sister, Gail Schulte, told the Free Press on Sunday that she doesn't believe the allegation and said her brother would never do something like that.

The Archdiocese of Detroit ordained Schulte in 1972. He served at Guardian Angels Parish in Clawson; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Beverly Hills; Macomb County Community College, and National Shrine of the Little Flower Parish in Royal Oak before becoming pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer, according to the church.


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