Suspended Detroit priest sues fellow priest in abuse case: I had no choice

By Tresa Baldas
Detroit Free Press
September 08, 2020

To clear his name, Father Eduard Perrone is treading on sacred ground in the Catholic Church: he’s suing a fellow priest.

Perrone maintains he has no choice.

The 72-year-old priest says he lost his job temporarily over false molestation claims. And the man behind it all, he alleges, is Monsignor G. Michael Bugarin, the latest target in Perrone’s 14-month-old legal battle to get his job back at Detroit’s Assumption Grotto, where he was removed last year over allegations he molested an altar boy 40 years ago.

In what is believed to be a first for the Archdiocese of Detroit, Perrone is suing Bugarin for defamation, alleging his “removal and public humiliation were orchestrated” by Bugarin, who, he claims, fabricated a rape claim against him in 2019 that led to his temporary ouster.

“He was very reluctant to do that. It was very hard. In many ways, this is a band of brothers that are expected to stand through trials and tribulations together in the world,” said Christopher Kolomjec, one of Perrone’s lawyers in the case. “For one priest to sue a monsignor, who is supposed to be a higher level priest, is unprecedented.”

“But there is something worse than suing a brother priest,” Kolomjec added, “and that’s framing a brother priest for a sex crime.”

Bugarin, also pastor at St. Joan of Arc in St. Clair Shores, is the person in charge of overseeing clergy abuse complaints for the Detroit archdiocese. Perrone’s lawsuit against him comes two weeks after Perrone settled another defamation lawsuit against a Macomb County detective who investigated him in the abuse case — a lawsuit that ended last month with a $125,000 cash settlement for Perrone...


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