Suspended priest wins $125K from detective over claims of child sex abuse

Eduard Perrone now hopes to be reinstated

Graig Graziosi
Monday 17 August 2020 23:42
Detective discusses conviction of priest who abused two schoolboys

A priest in Detroit has won a defamation suit he filed against a detective he alleges fabricated claims of child sex abuse against him.

The lawsuit ended last week with a $125,000 settlement for former priest Eduard Perrone.

The Detroit Free Press reported that a three-person court advisory panel ruled in his favour.

Mr Perrone was removed from his position as a priest and hopes to get his job back.

He was accused of sodomizing an altar boy 40 years ago. The now-grown man said the abuse did not happen. Mr Perrone also said the detective attempted to pressure another man into making abuse accusations against him, but the man said the detective twisted his words and that he had never seen the priest harm any boys.

The church has yet to respond to Mr Perrone's legal victory.

"The silence is deafening," he said. "I was confident that I would be vindicated in this way."

He said his case has "never been about the money" and said he was most concerned with "restoring my good name and bringing me back to the parish, which I have served for 25 years".

Mr Perrone was suspended from his position in 2019.

His firing prompted a lawsuit against the Detroit Archdiocese for $20 million, in which 20 parishioners from the Assumption Grotto church where Mr Perrone served claimed his removal caused them emotional distress.

That lawsuit is still pending.

Two weeks after Mr Perrone's removal, another accuser surfaced, who claimed the priest had touched him inappropriately during a car ride 40 years earlier.

Mr Perrone denied the allegations, claiming he'd never met the individual and didn't recall him ever serving as an altar boy.

Though the Archdiocese of Detroit has not commented specifically on the results of Mr Perrone's case, they did offer a statement regarding the situation earlier this month.

"The Archdiocese of Detroit was not party to that lawsuit. It had no involvement whatsoever in the recent decision to settle the matter prior to trial. Thus it would not be appropriate to comment on the decisions made by the parties involved," a spokesperson said.

The archdiocese noted that the ruling was regarding a monetary settlement, and did not determine fault in the abuse allegations against Mr Perrone. That statement suggests the archdiocese may not consider the ruling grounds for rehiring the priest.

The spokesman said the archdiocese can't make a decision on the case because the matter is being handled by the Vatican.

"Until that canonical proceeding is fully resolved, Fr Perrone is presumed innocent while restricted from all public ministry," the spokesperson said. "Such cases come under the jurisdiction of the Vatican. The Detroit archdiocese continues its call for prayers for all those involved in this matter."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments