Sex-Offender Priest Being Released on Legal Technicality: Updated

May 5, 2012

[with video]

A Brown County judge is releasing a former Green Bay priest convicted of child sexual abuse just seven years into a 32-year sentence.

After that decision, one of Donald Buzanowski's victims spoke out about the defrocked priest getting out of prison decades early.

A jury found Buzanowski guilty in 2005 of fondling ten-year-old David Schauer at Saints Peter and Paul School in 1988.

Prosecutors agreed to a motion Friday afternoon to release Buzanowski early, because of a legal technicality with the state's statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases before 1989.

Buzanowski will be supervised in a group home when he's released as early as next week.

Schauer and his family were emotional as they talked about Buzanowski's planned early release.

Schauer says he spoke with Buzanowski before Friday's court hearing, and after talking with him he's worried about Buzanowski re-offending.

"My hope is to find someone who will come forward who will hopefully be able to get him back off the streets," Schauer said.

He and his family say even though Buzanowski is getting out of prison early, they don't regret testifying, and they encouraged other victims to come forward to end child sexual abuse.

"I still see and hear the 12-year-old child who came to us and said, 'This is what happened to me when he was supposed to be counseling me,' and how this 12-year-old child was the one who wanted to go to the D.A., that wanted to go to the police, that kept saying, 'Mom, we can't stop so he can't hurt another child," mother Judith Schauer said.

Judge William Atkinson still upheld Buzanowski's conviction, and said Buzanowski will remain under state supervision for at least eight years and will remain on the state's sex offender registry.


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