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June 18, 2021
LANSING - A former Catholic school music teacher will serve at least a decade in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct, which will result in the harshest prison sentence thus far in the Michigan Department of Attorney General's ongoing clergy abuse investigation.
Joseph - or Josef - Comperchio, of Fort Myers, Florida, was first charged last September for sexually abusing two children. In those cases, he was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Then in October of last year, five new counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving two individuals were added.
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The charges stem from Comperchio's time as the drama and music teacher at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s.
This morning, before Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Susan. B. Jordan, Comperchio pleaded guilty to the following:
- three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct; and
- one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The admission will result in a minimum of ten years and maximum of 20 years in prison as well as lifetime sex offender registration. He will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring.
"I continue to be proud of the work my clergy abuse team is doing to obtain justice in these cases," Nessel said. "We remain indebted to the survivors who have come forward in order to share their stories. Their bravery is directly correlated with this accountability, and we will continue to ensure their voices are heard."
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Sentencing for Comperchio is set for Aug. 4 at 10 a.m.
Comperchio is the fourth individual to plead guilty to various charges as a result of Nessel's clergy abuse investigation.
Previously, a successful plea deal with Gary Jacobs was the harshest prison sentence secured. Jacobs' sentence is between eight and 15 years in prison.
Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their respective cases previously as well.
To learn more about Nessel's investigation into clergy abuse or to submit information, visit the Attorney General's website. Tips can also be provided over the phone by calling 844-324-3374.
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