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Attack on Indiana priest never happened; priest now being investigated for sexual misconduct with minor

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — An attack on an Indiana priest that was being investigated as a hate crime never happened, according to church officials. Now, the priest who claimed he was attacked is being investigated for sexual misconduct with a minor.

The Rev. Bail Hutsko is on paid administrative leave, according to officials at Eparchy of Parma, and is facing accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor stemming from an incident in the 80s.

Hutsko denied the accusations, but in a statement, church officials said they found the accusation credible.

While he is on administrative leave, Hutsko is unable to function as a priest anywhere else.

Read the full statement:

Father Basil Hutsko, a priest of the Eparchy of Parma, has been placed on administrative leave in response to a credible accusation of sexual misconduct involving a minor that allegedly occurred 35 years ago. Though Father Basil Hutsko denies the accusation, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, having heard from the priest, the Review Board, and the Promotor of Justice, has found the accusation to be credible. A finding that the accusation is credible is not a finding of guilt. Father Basil Hutsko has been placed on administrative leave. While on administrative leave, Father Basil Hutsko is unable to function in any capacity as a priest anywhere. 

Also the Eparchy of Parma 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. 

Father Basil Hutsko previously served at: St. Mary, Cleveland, Ohio; St. Barbara, Dayton, Ohio; St. Basil, Sterling Heights, Michigan; St. Mary, Marblehead, Ohio; St. Michael, Merrillville, Indiana. 

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. 

Officials previously said Hutsko was hospitalized after he was beaten at St. Michael’s Byzantine Church in Merrilville, Ind., on Aug. 20 as he finished celebrating liturgy at the church.

Hutsko told the Rev. Thomas Loya that as his back was turned, a man came up suddenly from behind. The attack supposedly had left the priest unconscious for 15 minutes.

The priest previously said that the attacker said, “This is for all the kids,” when he was attacked. Hutsko took that as a reference to the priest sex abuse scandal that was back in the headlines after a grand jury in Pennsylvania found Roman Catholic Church leaders covered up child sex abuse by more than 300 priests over seven decades.

There is no word about whether or not Hutsko will face charges for filing a false police report.