DA, Police Will Weigh Action on Priest

By Paul Srubas
Green Bay Press-Gazette
April 5, 2002

The Brown County District Attorney's office could meet as soon as next week with Green Bay police to discuss the investigation into a sexual assault allegation against a Lakewood priest.

The Rev. Stanley Browne, pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Lakewood, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, said Tony Kuick, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

The allegation was that Browne sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s, a time when Browne was serving as assistant pastor at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Green Bay.

Parishes Browne served at include SS. Peter & Paul and St. Joseph in Green Bay as well as parishes in the town of Holland, Brussels, Appleton and Lakewood.

"Nobody knows at this point if there's enough evidence or, even if there is enough, if it can be prosecuted," said Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski.

The statute of limitations has undergone several changes since the early 1980s, and whether it applies in this case depends on the age of the victim at the time of the alleged incident and on the exact date it supposedly happened — two things that Zakowski said prosecutors don't know yet.

Someone from the diocese went to the district attorney's office with the allegation last week and was told that the police department — not the prosecutor's office — is the proper investigative agency to receive the report, Zakowski said.

The diocese, meanwhile, is still hoping to hear from the lawyer of the person who made the allegation last week against Browne.


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