Preliminary Hearing Set for Priest Charged with Sexual Impropriety

Associated Press State & Local Wire
June 26, 2002

A preliminary hearing has been set for July 17 for a Catholic priest accused of taking indecent liberties with a child.

The Rev. Dennis Schmitz appeared briefly in Douglas County District Court Wednesday, where he waived formal reading of the charge against him.

Brad Burke, an assistant district attorney, said Schmitz is charged with lewd fondling and touching of a child between the ages of 14 and 16. The incidents allegedly happened between June 1998 and May 1999.

Schmitz, 41, of Marysville, also faces an indecent liberties charge in Nemaha County. Authorities have said in the past that the cases involve the same alleged victim.

Schmitz, ordained in 1989, become vocations director for the archdiocese in 1994 and served until last July, when he became pastor of St. Gregory's in Marysville and St. Malachy's in Beattie.

While vocations director, Schmitz lived in Lawrence. He was in charge of recruiting seminary students.


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