BY BILL CITARA
The Rev. Edward Olszewski, who abruptly left his post as pastor of St. Justin the Martyr Catholic Church in Key Largo in April, has been arraigned on charges of sexually abusing a Detroit boy in the 1970s.
The court action stems from allegations made by Albert Green, 40, who said Olszewski began abusing him when he was 11, after being placed in the priest's foster care during his mother's cancer surgery.
At the time, Olszewski, 67, was at St. Cecelia's parish in Detroit.
In a late-breaking development, Green's attorney, Tim Kosnoff of Seattle, said another boy has come forward alleging abuse by Olszewski, known to parishioners in the Keys as “Father Ed.”
That boy is being interviewed by the Wayne County, Detroit, prosecutor, Kosnoff said.
Olszewski made no comment at his arraignment on eight counts of criminal sexual conduct. He was released on $10,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing set for Monday, Sept. 23.
His attorney, S. Allen Early of Detroit, said Olszewski “emphatically states he's innocent” of the charges and accused Green of being “motivated by money” that could result from settlement of a civil lawsuit.
That suit has yet to be filed, said Kosnoff, though he expects to do so within six months.
Olszewski's lawyer in any civil action will likely be Tavernier attorney James Lupino, who said the priest “is doing fine under the circumstances. He's staunch about defending his innocence.”
According to Kosnoff, the allegations against Olszewski came to light in March when Green was watching television coverage of the sex-abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church.
Green, who has agreed to testify against Olszewski at trial, alleges that the abuse took place over a 10-year period in Detroit, Florida, Las Vegas and San Francisco.
Early said the defense will focus on Green's character and the fact that he waited some 30 years to make his accusations.
Green also “has a history of arrests and convictions on drug possession and usage and crimes of dishonesty,” Early said.
Kosnoff acknowledged his client's checkered past but noted, “Many times victims don't make the connection between drug addiction, alcoholism and other problems and their abuse.”
Bill Citara covers health, law enforcement, business and Islamorada. He can be reached at 852-3216 or by e-mail at [email protected]