The Ontario Court Of Justice.
Charges against a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys more than four decades ago were withdrawn and stayed in a Chatham court this week.
Piotr Sanczenko, 86, had faced three counts of indecent assault stemming from allegations that date from 1963 to 1973 when Sanczenko served at Our Lady of Victory Church in Chatham. The Crown Tuesday withdrew two of the counts and stayed one.
A stay means the Crown has one year to resurrect the charge.
“The Crown assessed the entire situation,” defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said Wednesday. “It won’t be a surprise to anyone. Everyone was consulted.”
Sanczenko was ordained in 1954 and last served at Holy Trinity in Windsor. The Polish-born priest retired in 2003 and has been living in Windsor since.
When he was first charged in 2010, former parishioners rose up in his defence, calling the allegations unbelievable.
Sanczenko gained the loyalty of many Polish families in Chatham whom he helped. Our Lady of Victory was established by Polish immigrants. Sanczenko was the parish’s third priest.