Priest Enters Plea in Sexual-Assault Case

Chicago Tribune
January 23, 1992

A priest pleaded no contest Wednesday to a second-degree sexual assault charge involving a teenage boy. The Rev. Peter Burns, 32, was then found guilty of that offense by Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Gary Langhoff, who dropped two other counts of the same charge as requested by the district attorney as part of a plea bargain. Authorities said the count to which the priest pleaded no contest and one of the others involved 1988 incidents involving a boy then 13 years old, and the other count involved a 1987 incident involving a boy then 14 years old who came forward after the initial charges were filed. Burns admitted in court Wednesday, however, that the other two incidents took place. The judge, who ordered a pre-sentence investigation and did not immediately schedule sentencing, can thus consider all three charges in sentencing. A charge of second-degree sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of a 10-year prison term and $10,000 fine in Wisconsin.


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