Former Detroit priest will stand trial in abuse case

Former Detroit priest will stand trial in abuse case

Man testifies about attacks he says happened at age 11

September 28, 2002


The sexual abuse allegedly began the first day Albert Green moved into the rectory at St. Cecilia parish in Detroit in 1971. Social workers had placed Green, then 11, and two brothers in the care of a Catholic priest because the boys' mother was ill.

But the Rev. Edward Olszewski, the priest Green called Dad, molested him repeatedly, Green testified Friday in Detroit's 36th District Court.

Green, now 44 and living in Washington state, claims Olszewski performed oral sex on him "six times a week" and molested him in the rectory's laundry room, the priest's bedroom, the priest's Cadillac and the church's sacristy and belltower.

Olszewski, who was without a priest's collar, was bound over Friday by Judge Theresa Doss to stand trial in Wayne County Circuit Court at a date to be determined.

Olszewski has maintained his innocence and, outside the courthouse Friday, said Green is lying.

"He's a great liar. He believes his own lies," said Olszewski, who moved from Michigan in the late 1970s to work as a priest in south Florida.

Olszewski's voice broke when asked about the case's impact on his life.

"It's ruined it. . . . I was taken out of the parish. I can't function as a priest," he said. "People who know me, know the truth."

Olszewski was forced to step down from his Key Largo, Fla., parish in the spring after Green made his accusations public.

The priest said Green has "been stalking me all his life," seeking help from Olszewski whenever Green got into trouble with the law and drugs.

Olszewski is one of four men who served as priests in Detroit and who have been charged in Wayne County with sexually abusing minors decades ago.

Green said Friday that he never told anyone about being abused by the priest until last spring, when he saw reports about the unfolding sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

"I would have never told on him. But I went to him for help, and he didn't help me," Green said, without giving details.

In his testimony, Green gave detailed but confusing recollections of the alleged abuse.

Prosecutor Maria Miller had difficulty getting Green to pinpoint exactly when and how frequently some of the abuse occurred.

Green admitted that he has been plagued by drug addiction, and convicted of crimes involving larceny and burglary of a home and an automobile.

Exploiting a quirk in the law, prosecutors said they were able to charge Olszewski because he moved out of Michigan before the statute of limitations expired, stopping the clock from ticking as the years passed. At the time of the alleged crimes, Michigan law required charges to be brought within six years of an offense.

Prosecutors also amended the charges against Olszewski to reflect crimes that were applicable in the 1970s. He now is charged with four counts of indecent liberties with a minor child and four counts of sodomy.

Contact PATRICIA MONTEMURRI at 313-223-4538 or [email protected].

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