DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit priest who said he was defamed by a police officer in an investigation of alleged sexual abuse has settled a lawsuit against her for $125,000.
The Rev. Eduard Perrone said he doesn’t care about the money but wants to be reinstated at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, known as Assumption Grotto, a Catholic church he had led for 25 years until he was removed by the Detroit Archdiocese in 2019.
“It’s been a long, slow wait,” Perrone told the Detroit Free Press. “I’ve been ousted from my parish for 13 months, and I’m very anxious to get back.”
A former altar boy accused Perrone of assaulting him decades ago, according to a report by Nancy LePage, a Macomb County sheriff’s detective who specializes in child sex crimes.
Perrone, 72, denied the allegation and hasn’t been charged with a crime. He filed a lawsuit against LePage, saying she defamed him.
The county recently settled it for $125,000 after a panel of lawyers reviewed the case, a common step in Detroit-area lawsuits.
County attorney John Schapka said there was no wrongdoing by LePage. He said the case was settled to avoid a larger jury verdict and other costs.
“There was a victim who made representations to her,” Schapka said. “And just like every other police investigation, where they write down what they’re told — that’s it. That’s what happened here. And the victim later changed his mind, for whatever reason.”
Meanwhile, Perrone’s service as a priest is in the hands of the Vatican, said Ned McGrath, an archdiocese spokesman.
“Until that canonical proceeding is fully resolved, Fr. Perrone is presumed innocent while restricted from all public ministry. … The Detroit archdiocese continues its call for prayers for all those involved in this matter,” the archdiocese said.