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Prior Allegations Against Priest Were Sealed

Jul 1, 2002 | WDIV

Wayne County Prosecutor Mike Duggan sent a letter of apology to the Archdiocese of Detroit for the handling of a 1987 case involving the alleged sexual abuse of a teenager by a local priest, his office said Monday.

Prosecutors said that 15 years ago, the Taylor Police Department presented a warrant request against the Rev. Edmund Borycz. But an assistant prosecuting attorney, who left the office years ago, denied the request and directed officers to seal their file without contacting the archdiocese.

Duggan said that prosecutors who have been in the office for 25 years have never heard of any instances where warrant files were ordered sealed. He also said that there was no evidence to suggest the man he succeeded, former Wayne County Prosecutor John O'Hair, knew about the request of command to seal the file.

The alleged abuse by the priest came to light in 1987 when a 19-year-old tried to commit suicide and ended up in a treatment facility. The man told a social worker there that he had been sexually molested by Borycz while staying at the rectory as St. Cyril's.

The social worker told the story to police, who presented the warrant request that was eventually ordered sealed. Authorities said that Borycz was allowed to remain in communication with the alleged victim and the man refused to cooperate with investigators.

According to prosecutors, on April 26, the archdiocese turned over a report of a man who also alleged that he was sexually molested by Borycz when he was 13 years old. The alleged abuse took place when the boy slept overnight at the Sts. Peter and Paul rectory in Taylor in 1970. Investigators said that they interviewed the alleged victim and "found him to be very credible."

Duggan's office is continuing to search for information on other possible victims.

The prosecutor apologized to the archdiocese and pledged to continue working toward removing abusive priests. Duggan said that his office could wrap up investigations of active priests in the next couple of weeks.

The letter was addressed to Monsignor Walter Hurley of the archdiocese, who removed Borycz and two other priest from service over the weekend.

"Monsignor, I hope you will accept this apology not just to the Archdiocese but to you personally for the embarrassment of having to go to St. Michael's this weekend to deal with the removal of Fr. Borycz," Duggan said in the letter. "I'm quite certain it would have been avoided had the prosecutor's office been forthcoming with you in 1987."

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