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Dearborn Priest Faces Probation, Fines for Drunken Driving, Disorderly Conduct Charges

The Rev. Peter Petroske was sentenced Thursday in Dearborn's 19th District Court.

A Dearborn priest arrested in August for drunken driving and indecent exposure faces a year of probation and continued counseling, but hopes to return to the ministry, according to his attorney.

The Rev. Peter Petroske, who formerly served as the head priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dearborn, was sentenced Thursday in Dearborn's 19th District Court before Judge Richard Wygonik.

Petroske was . Following the charges, he was suspended from his post at Sacred Heart by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

For the disorderly conduct charge arising from the indecent exposure, Petroske was fined $100 and ordered to pay $100 in other costs.

For the impaired driving charge, he will pay a $200 fine and other costs, plus report to a probation officer via mail, fax or email on a regular basis for 12 months.

Pestroske was also ordered to continue counseling during that time, and attend Alcoholics Anonymous treatment three times per week.

Petroske's attorney, Edward Zelenak, said that they "appreciated the plea offer" from the city prosecutor.

"The sentence was appropriate," he said. "And the city attorney’s office was very fair."

Petroske arrived in Dearborn for the sentencing from Downingtown, PA, where he has been receiving inpatient treatment in the St. John Vianney Center since his arrest. His hearing for the charges was set back several times due to his stay at the center, which tags itself as "the oldest running behavioral health facility in North America for clergy and religious."

Zelenak confirmed that Petroske plans to continue both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

"He has not been discharged yet," Zelenak confirmed after the sentencing, adding that Petroske hopes to continue his path as a clergyman. "He’ll be back in the ministry soon. He still remains a member of the ministry of the Archdiocese of Detroit."

AC December 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The sentence is par for the course, as far as DUI first offense in Dearborn is concerned. People need to lighten up and cut this man some slack. He is only an AGENT for god, not the big man himself.
Pam December 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
If you have information on how other first time drunk offenders in this court are treated, please share it.
Marium Wilke December 30, 2012 at 05:20 PM
SHAME ON THE CATHOLIC ARCH DIOCESE....They have consistently ignored the consistent shameful problems....I have seen nothing but bad decisions on behalf of the preists....and the people that still want to be part of the. Catholic church.....The people that are leading us have not stood up to their responsibilities..We are religion who can't get priests..We are losing parishioners...While Joel Olson has thousands going to his church to hear him speak..Someone had to be a catholic there...There's no excuse for this priest...It is what it is he was DRUNK & NUDE..He is a man with alot of years of faith and knowledge of right from wrong under his belt...This Dearborn judge that has enabled him to continue with his problem was not what he needed...He needed to be accountable for his bad actions..And so should the Catholic Church..I am very sad that my church has NOT turned anything around and made it a more believeable religion that has more uplifting meaning...I am very sad for this priest...They just put his problem on hold...
Fahrvegnugen January 02, 2013 at 11:09 PM
I don't think you know what you're talking about, Concerned Parent. Many drunk drivers, even those who hurt other people, are parents. However, I've never heard of a naked priest causing anyone any injuries while driving drunk. This defendant was a priest, and naked, therefore, as a parent, you are more likely to drive drunk and hurt someone than he was.
Concerned Parent January 07, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Fahrvegnugen- I am sorry but I actually know what I am talking about. I do not drink and drive. Even before I was a parent I was generally the DD because I never really every drank and when I do it is 1 drink that is consumed 2 hours before I know I would be leaving and I drank a lot of water afterwards. My parents do not drink. I have seen what has happened with my Drunk relatives and I have vowed never to be like them. So I can say with certainty that it is NOT more likely for me to drive drunk and hurt someone over the priest. Plus let me add in here that just because he is a Priest does not mean that he does not do things that are wrong and does not Drink. Actually the fact that he is in a REHAB and there is no real end in sight for when he will be discharged ( he has been there since September by the way) proves more that he has a Drinking problem and I would be this was not the first time he has driven Drunk! Priest are people too! You do realize that don't you? They are not above the law and they can sin just like anyone else. Have you not heard of the Priest that have molested children. That is an even worse offense and I am sorry something is seriously wrong with anyone who will drive around in their car naked. It raises a lot of questions! Perhaps if the law would actually get tough on people who drive drunk then maybe less drunk people will injure people in crashes. Please look up the statistics about Drunk Driving! I listed the sources!

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