Parma, Ohio, Oct 23, 2018 / 13:01 pm
The Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma has announced that a priest who was reportedly attacked in August has been placed on administrative leave due to a credible accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor.
Fr. Basil Hutsko is accused of misconduct alleged to have occurred 35 years ago (or in 1983), the eparchy stated.
“Though Father Basil Hutsko denies the accusation, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, having heard from the priest, the Review Board, and the Promotor [sic] of Justice, has found the accusation to be credible,” the eparchy said. “A finding that the accusation is credible is not a finding of guilt,” it added.
In August, Hutsko had been reported to have been attacked at his parish. The eparchy’s statement said that attack did not take take place.
The eparchy “has recently verified with a member of Father Basil Hutsko’s immediate family that the incident Father Basil Hutsko reported on Aug. 20, 2018, did not occur,” the statement said.
An August statement attributed to the eparchial chancery which was widely shared on Facebook said Fr. Hutsko “was attacked and knocked unconscious” in the altar server's sacristy at his parish after celebrating the Divine Liturgy.
That statement said the priest was choked and his head slammed to the ground, making him lose consciousness. According to the statement, the attacker said, “This is for all the kids.”
Fr. Hutsko, 64, was serving as pastor of St. Michael parish in Merrillville, Ind., immediately south of Gary.