Priests who served at Northeast Ohio churches on leave after alleged sexual misconduct
CLEVELAND – Two priests who served at Northeast Ohio churches have been placed on administrative leave after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against them.
Father Basil Hutsko is currently a priest in Indiana and has served as a priest in Michigan and at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Cleveland, which is part of the Eparchy of Parma the Byzantine Catholic Church. According to the Eparchy of Parma, Bishop Milan Lach found allegations that Hutsko engaged in sexual misconduct involving a minor 35 years ago were credible.
While Hutsko denies the allegations, the church said a finding that an accusation is credible is not a finding of guilt.
Eparchy of Parma released more information on their website saying:
The Eparchy of Parma is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse. We are deeply sorry for the pain suffered by survivors of abuse due to actions of some members of the clergy. Any person with information or those just seeking help can reach our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Dr. Sharon Petrus, at (330) 958-9630.
In August, Hutsko claimed he was attacked at this church in Indiana. The FBI investigated it as a hate crime, but it turned out the attack never happened, according to an article by the Chicago Tribune.
While on leave, Hustko is not allowed to work as a priest in any capacity.
Hutsko previously served at St. Mary, Cleveland, St. Barbara in Dayton, St. Basil in Sterling Heights, Michigan, St. Mary, Marblehead in Ohio and St. Michael, Merrillville in Indiana.
A second priest, Father Stephen Muth is also on administrative leave. According to the church’s website, Muth retired from the ministry in January. He most recently served as a priest in Indiana, but also led St. Nicholas in Barberton.
Muth is accused of sexual misconduct involving a vulnerable adult according to The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma. Muth denies the allegations.
The church did not say when or where the alleged misconduct occurred.