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Ex-Priest To Face Local Charges

Sigler, 65, Accused of Molesting 2 Flushing Brothers In The 1970s

Jan 21, 2003 | THE FLINT JOURNAL

A former Flushing priest will face charges in Genesee County on allegations he molested two altar boys in the mid-1970s.

Prosecutor Arthur A. Busch said he will seek felony charges against Jason E. Sigler, a former St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church priest.

Sigler, 65, was sentenced to a year in jail this month after he pleaded no contest to molesting two boys in the Detroit area.

"Now it is time for Jason Sigler to face the allegations of his child molesting here in Genesee County," Busch said.

Sigler was a visiting priest at the church from the fall of 1974 to the spring of 1975 when he allegedly molested a 13-year-old boy.

The priest allegedly befriended the family of two Flushing boys, 11 and 13, in an attempt to get near the older boy, Busch said.

A Flushing police investigation that began last spring determined Sigler's behavior at the church was "calculating and designed to put him in a position to fondle the boys."

Sigler faces three charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree CSC involving the 13-year-old in the spring of 1975.

The attacks allegedly happened inside the church and in a car, Busch said.

Sigler faces two additional counts of second-degree CSC involving the boy's younger brother in the summer of 1976 or 1977, Busch said.

Sigler moved to New Mexico in 1975 but returned to visit the victims' family at their Flushing home. On that visit, Sigler allegedly fondled the younger boy in the house.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe paid at least $13 million to settle more than 20 sex abuse lawsuits against Sigler after he pleaded guilty to a 1983 sex charge.

Police investigated a complaint by a former Flushing man, Anthony "Tony" Otero, who claimed he was molested by Sigler during the priest's brief stay in Flushing. Otero now lives in Macomb County.

Sigler worked at a church in Jackson from October 1968 to March 1970 before attending a New Mexico center that treats priests for sexual disorders and other problems.

Jackson-area parents and prosecutors agreed not to prosecute on the condition that Sigler leave and never return to Michigan. He worked in New Mexico parishes after his release from the center.

But the priest was allowed to stay at the rectory at St. Robert Catholic Church in Flushing for about eight months in 1974 and 1975.

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