AG Nessel Charges Former Catholic School Teacher with Sexually Assaulting Minors
Another Michigan abuser has been arrested thanks to the work done by the state’s top law enforcement official and her dedication to investigating cases of Catholic sexual abuse. We applaud AG Dana Nessel and her team and hope this news encourages others who may have been hurt to come forward and make a report to the AG’s office.
Joseph – or Josef – Comperchio, a former teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson, MI, is accused of abusing two students while they were between the ages of 9 and 11 in the mid to late 1970s. As a result of those victims reporting to A.G. Nessel, Comperchio is facing six charges, two of which can be punishable by life in prison. Comperchio has been arrested at his home in Fort Myers, Florida, and will be arraigned tomorrow.
We know that there is no magic age at which an abuser stops, so we are grateful to A.G. Nessel for creating safer communities and preventing future cases of abuse by bringing these charges. We also know that most perpetrators have multiple victims, so we hope any others who may be suffering in silence will read this story and be inspired to come forward and make a report of their own.
The Diocese of Lansing trained and employed Comperchio, so we believe that it should ensure that this information is shared with all alumni of St. John Catholic School and that the information is also posted prominently online. Catholic officials can play a critical role in bringing other victims forward and they should encourage anyone with information to contact A.G. Nessel’s confidential hotline by calling 844-324-3374 or by using this online confidential reporting form.
By our count, Comperchio represents the 16th Catholic staffer arrested in the United States this year, once again bringing attention to the need for diocesan officials to name not just priests, but anyone hired and trained by the church on their lists of accused abusers. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing should lead by example and update his list to include Comperchio’s name, headshot, and complete work history today.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)