Sports hero speaks out about childhood abuse by priest

November 14, 2002
By Rick Ross

Tom Paciorek 55, a former major league ballplayer who now works for Fox Sports Net says he and his brothers were sexually molested as children by a Catholic priest.

The Paciorek boys lived in Detroit and attended the Catholic school Hamtramck St. Ladislaus. Gerald Shirilla, a priest and teacher there, allegedly abused them.

Shirilla 63, was removed during March from his latest assignment at St. Mary Catholic Church in Alpena, Michigan.

Shirilla's attorney claims his client has "done nothing that would make him unfit," according to a story run within the Detroit Free Press.

Tom Paciorek first spoke out about Shirilla in 1993 through a formal complaint submitted to the Archdiocese of Detroit. Another student also filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against the priest, but it was dismissed due to Michigan's statute of limitations in 1999.

Shirilla was placed on "administrative leave," but when the lawsuit was dismissed the priest was allowed to return to work.

Note: This article is based largely upon "Former big league baseball player says priest abused him, brothers" St. Petersburg Times/March 23, 2002

Copyright © 2002 Rick Ross.

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