New York Priest Steps Down From Ministry Over Accusation That He Sexually Abused A Middle Schooler

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

A New York priest stepped down from ministry as church authorities launched an investigation into allegations he sexually abused a middle school aged child.

Msgr. William Breslawski, pastor of the Church of St. Anthony of Padua in the diocese of Rockville, stepped down from his priestly duties after diocesan authorities received a letter on Sept. 25 accusing him of child sexual abuse about 40 years ago and unwanted sexual contact that allegedly occurred in the 1980s. Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said that the diocese is conducting an investigation into the claims. (RELATED: Pope Defrocks Chile’s Most Notorious Pedophile Cleric)

“We are saddened by these allegations, and we will do everything we can to ensure that a fair and just determination is made,” Dolan said, according to Newsday.

The diocese initially noted an issue with Breslawski when officials discovered a past complaint against him dated 2002 in a review of their files, according to a diocesan statement. An individual lodged a complaint alleging that Breslawski had sexually abused their friend in 7th or 8th grade. The diocese recommended that the individual have their friend contact the diocese directly, but the alleged victim never reached out.

The issue arose again, however, when the diocese received a the September 25 letter from a different individual who corroborated the 2002 incident. Church officials also discovered a second complaint lodged in 2002 alleging that Breslawski had an inappropriate interaction with two adults in 1984, one of whom claimed Breslawski made unwanted sexual contact with them.

The diocese notified both Nassau and Suffolk District Attorneys concerning the allegations, but an area prosecutor said the statute of limitations had expired in each case, according to The Associated Press.

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