Priest due to return to court March 21 - Catholic Courier

Priest due to return to court March 21

GATES — Father John J. Steger — who has pleaded not guilty to sexual-abuse and child-endangerment charges — is scheduled to appear in Gates Town Court March 21, 2007.

The charges — two misdemeanor counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child — stem from two separate incidents that allegedly took place in April and May. The priest’s attorney, John F. Speranza, had filed a motion to dismiss the charges, and that motion was denied by Judge Peter Pupatelli during Aug. 23 proceedings in Gates Town Court.

The March 21 proceeding will be held to determine the validity of Father Steger’s arrest and the admissibility of any statements ascribed to the priest, Speranza said.

On May 17, Father Steger, pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Church, was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Rochester. He is not allowed to engage in public ministry during the leave, the diocese said.

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