Ex-Catholic school teacher charged in 1970’s sex abuse cases

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A former Catholic school teacher in Michigan faces sex abuse allegations stretching back more than four decades.

Charges against Joseph Comperchio are part of the state’s ongoing investigation into clergy abuse, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office announced Monday.

Comperchio, 66, was arrested Monday in Fort Myers, Florida. He was expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Florida on two counts of first-degree and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Two people have told authorities they were between 9 and 11 years old when abused between 1974 and 1977, Nessel’s office said.

At the time, Comperchio taught drama and music at St. John Catholic School in Jackson, 80 miles (128 kilometers) west of Detroit.

As part of a broader investigation into the Catholic dioceses in Michigan, about 1.5 million paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents have been seized through search warrants executed in October 2018, Nessel’s office said.

Ten people connected to the Catholic Church have been charged.

Comperchio was being held without bond. It was not immediately known if Comperchio had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

The Associated Press left a voicemail seeking comment late Monday afternoon with the school.