Priest pleads guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of sex assaulting a child at Wauwatosa school

Priest pleads guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of sex assaulting a child at Wauwatosa school

By Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A Milwaukee priest pleaded guilty to three counts of misdemeanor sexual contact with a girl while at a Catholic school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2011.

Robert Marsicek, 76, who was removed from ministry in 2013, was charged in February with three felony counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child, but as a result of negotiations with prosecutors entered his pleas to fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor that involves sexual touching.

Sentencing was set for Dec. 15. He remains free on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond and conditions that he have no contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18.

According to the original complaint, Marsicek touched the girl while at Pius X Parish and school in Wauwatosa between 2007 and 2011. Among the incidents, she said Marsicek at one point laid on her and touched her breasts and at another reached under her jumper to "pat" her vagina.

Marsicek told detectives that the girl was clingy and liked to sit on his lap, and that he told her it was not acceptable. He said he did not remember the other details of her allegations. The complaint references similar incidents involving boys in California.

Asked if he was aroused by boys and young girls, Marsicek allegedly told detectives, “Certainly, I’m aroused (by) just the cuteness and beauty of them," but not to the level that he would want to have sex with them.

Marsicek was removed from ministry at St. Pius X Catholic Parish in Wauwatosa, Mother of Good Counsel Parish and School in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa Catholic School in 2013 after a teacher at Wauwatosa Catholic reported that Marsicek inappropriately touched a young girl. At the time, Marsicek maintained he was just being affectionate and that any inappropriate touching was inadvertent.

Wauwatosa police sought criminal charges, but the Milwaukee County district attorney's office declined to file, saying it could not prove intent. Wauwatosa police investigated a second report in 2013 that also was not charged.

The latest case, prompted by a 15-year-old girl coming forward in December, is unrelated to those.

Marsicek had a history of questionable contact with children during his 12 years at St. Pius X and had been counseled repeatedly by the archdiocese and his religious order, the Society of the Divine Savior, or Salvatorians, to stop touching them, according to documents obtained by police in 2013.

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