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Convicted Priest, Church Targets of Suit

Dec 23, 2003 | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The former foster son of a Key West priest has filed a civil suit against the Rev. Edward Olszewski, who was convicted of molesting him last year.

Albert Green, 45, said Olszewski started abusing him in 1971, when the priest was in Detroit. At the time, Green's mother was ill, and social services sent the then-11-year-old and his two brothers to live with the priest temporarily. Green said Olszewski became like a father to him, gave him marijuana and alcohol, and abused him into adulthood.

"I was 11 years old, poor and fatherless," said Green, adding that the attention made him feel like "the special one." "He said he loved me and that the sex was normal, and all fathers and sons have sex like that."

It wasn't until 2002 that Green realized the relationship was abusive, after he saw someone on television claiming to be molested by a priest. Green reported the abuse and Olszewski -- who was working at St. Justin Martyr in Key Largo -- was put on leave by the Miami Archdiocese.

Olszewski was convicted by a Michigan jury of indecent liberties with a minor in December 2002. He was put on probation for three years.

The 70-year-old Olszewski, a registered sex offender, lives in Key Largo and spends time working out and writing his autobiography. He thinks Green, who has "never had a job and was always homeless," just wants money.

"There was no abuse ... absolutely not," said Olszewski, who is appealing his case. "All I can say is the same thing Christ said on the cross, `Father forgive him, because he doesn't know what he's done.'"

Mary Ross Agosta, spokeswoman for the Miami Archdiocese, said Olszewski can not work or dress as a priest.

Olszewski worked in four towns in the Detroit Archdiocese beginning in 1961. From 1977 to 1987, he worked at St. Byron's in Hallandale Beach, the Childrens' Village Home in Hallandale, St. Joseph's in Miami Beach and Our Lady of the Lakes in Miami Lakes. He worked at St. Justin Martyr in Key Largo from 1988 to 2002.

Green filed his case in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court on Monday against Olszewski, Miami Archbishop John Favalora, Detroit Archbishop and Cardinal Adam Maida, plus the Miami and Detroit archdioceses.

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