Waukesha Priest Removed from Ministry for Alleged Sexual Assault

By Henry Rosoff
Fox 6
June 10, 2012

[with video]

WAUKESHA A Waukesha priest has been removed from ministry for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor several decades ago. This is the second time in 10 years John Schreiter has been pulled from his parish.

Schreiter is not facing charges in a criminal court, but he is the subject of a review by the church.

Schreiter currently serves as priest at St. John Neumann Church in Waukesha, though he is now on administrative leave.

The announcement was made to the congregation during masses Saturday night and Sunday morning at St. John Neumann Parish.

The incident, that allegedly occurred about 30 years ago, came to light as a result of the Milwaukee Archdiocese's recent bankruptcy filings, when the Archdiocese asked victims of abuse to come forward. A spokesman with the Milwaukee Archdiocese told FOX6 News the allegation against Schreiter was reported by the victim to the Archdiocese's bankruptcy court.

Schreiter was investigated by prosecutors, but was not criminally charged.

In a letter from Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki to priests and other church leaders, he writes: "Per Archdiocesan policy, the allegation was reported to the appropriate district attorney for review. The district attorney has declined to prosecute and we are, therefore, initiating our own process."

SNAP the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says the priest was suspended back in 2004 for sexual abuse allegations when he served at a church in Dousman. The report was ruled "unsubstantiated" at the time by Milwaukee's Archdiocese and the pastor was reinstated.

"That previous investigation needs to be re-opened. We assume it's going to be re-opened. If these reports are similar, coming from different parishes at different times, that's very strong substantiation, very strong evidence," Peter Isley with SNAP said.

Isley says victims deserve to know more about how that process will work when dealing with a man now accused twice.

"There's a lot of questions here how these cases are being investigated and reviewed. It's an open question. They say there's a procedure. They've got people's names on it," Isley said.

Archbishop Listecki, in his letter, defends the current process taking place, saying: "Fr. Schreiter denies the allegation. An investigation will move forward using a professional, independent investigator with the investigative report being delivered to the Diocesan Review Board."

Schreiter was about to retire and festivities were planned at St. John Neumann for this coming week. Those plans have been put on hold.


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