The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Second Venice area priest arrested
He's charged with exposing himself
But bishop won’t disclose his whereabouts
Victims hand deliver letter to church headquarters
SNAP to prelate: “Visit affected parishes, urge folks to speak up”
They will then try to hand deliver a letter to the bishop about the two priests.
Two weeks ago, Fr. Bernard Chojnacki was arrested for allegedly grabbing, propositioning and exposing himself to an undercover detective on a beach near Sarasota. At the time of his arrest, Chojnacki worked at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Port Charlotte, FL. (Venice diocese Bishop Frank Dewane recently put Chojnacki on administrative leave but refuses to say where the priest is living.)
In February, Fr. William Wert was arrested for sexual abuse against a 14 year old boy. At the time of his arrest, he was living in a Carmelite religious order house in Venice. Wert is in the Sarasota County jail and faces a jury trial in October.
Since criminal charges are pending against both of these priests, SNAP wants Dewane to use his diocesan website and parish bulletins to beg anyone who might have information or suspicions about the clerics’ misdeeds to contact law enforcement so that they can both be effectively prosecuted.
Chojnacki who is 36 years old and a native of Poland, was ordained in 2009. He worked at St. Damian Westland Catholic church the Detroit Archdiocese. Before that, he studied at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan.
Wert previously worked at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, California, 1987 and again from 1993 until 1999. He also worked in Washington DC where he was convicted in 2007 of assault and put on probation. He was accused there of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests