Fmr. Priest Being Released from Prison Early
May 4, 2012
GREEN BAY - A former priest with the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay convicted of sexually assaulting a child will be let out of prison early.
Donald Buzanowski was sentenced to 32 years in prison in 2005. He was convicted of sexually assaulting David Schauer. The abuse took place in 1988 when Schauer was a student at Green Bay's Saints Peter and Paul School. Brown County judge William Atkinson accepted a deal Friday that will let Buzanowki out of prison as soon as next week.
"It was very frustrating to hear that after all of the difficult work and difficult time I had in testifying, but I would still do it all over again. It has made an enormous change in my life and I know it has made a difference in the lives of other children," said Schauer.
Special Prosecutor Vince Biskupic said he would not do an on camera interview. He told FOX 11 on the phone the deal was a joint request from both himself and the defense.
Biskupic says deal was made because of a conflict regarding recent changes to appellate law versus the statute of limitations. He says the alternative would have been to let Buzanowski appeal his conviction and possibly walk away free and clear.
Under the agreement approved by the judge, Buzanowski's conviction is upheld. He will be on probation for seven years. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
Buzanowksi's attorney Owen Monfils declined our request for an on camera interview. He did say he and his client are happy with the ruilng.
Schauer told us he spoke with Buzanowski over the phone today.
Frrom this conversation that I've had with him I have zero confidence that he'll remain in his apartment and not re-offend," said Schauer.
Schauer and his family are now asking if there is anyone out there who was victimized by Buzanowski after July 1989 to come forward. A law signed by Governor Walker this spring now allows for prosecution on any alleged abuse since that time.
"I swear that coming forward and just telling one person will really make a difference in your life. It'll make every step that David's taken since he was 12-years-old worth it so that one more child doesn't get hurt," said David's mother, Judith Schauer.
"My hope it to find someone who will come forward and will hopefully be able to get him back off the streets," said David Schauer.
Buzanowkski will likely move into a group home, and he will be monitored there.
FOX 11 called and emailed the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay for comment on today's decision. Our requests were not returned.