October 28, 2020
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office filed new sexual assault charges against a former Catholic school music teacher after her prosecutors last month accused the 67-year-old man of sexually assaulting two other minors while he was employed at St. John Catholic School in Jackson in the 1970s.
Joseph – or Josef – Comperchio, of Fort Myers, Florida, is charged with five new counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving two individuals. Four of the counts occurred when the victims were under the age of 13, and the fifth was while the victim was physically helpless – second-degree criminal sexual conduct–injury to incapacitated victim. All charges are 15-year felonies. The incidents reportedly occurred between 1975-77 when Comperchio was employed as a drama/music teacher at the Jackson Catholic school.
He is expected to be arraigned on the new charges today in Jackson County 12th District Court.
“My office stands committed to seeking justice for all of those who have been assaulted or taken advantage of and we will continue to review the circumstances in each case with careful scrutiny and file charges when the evidence demands it,” Nessel said. “I continue to be encouraged by the victims who come forward to share their experiences, which are undoubtedly difficult stories to tell and serve as a reminder to the rest of us that the pain which can be inflicted when predators prey on the vulnerable remains long after the reported incident.”
The Attorney General’s office accused Comperchio in mid-September of sexually abusing two other children. In those cases, he was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony charge punishable by up to life in prison; and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony.
He was arrested in Fort Myers on Sept. 14 following the first set of charges. He waived extradition and was returned to Michigan on Oct. 1. He is scheduled for a bond hearing at 1 p.m. Friday in Jackson County 12th District Court before Judge Joseph Filip. Jackson County court hearings may be viewed online here.
Use the links below to view a copy of the charging documents.
The Michigan Department of the Attorney General seized 1.5 million paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents through search warrants executed in October 2018. Including Comperchio, the Attorney General’s investigation has resulted in criminal charges being filed against 11 individuals connected to the Catholic Church.
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.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants, but one may be available from the Jackson County Jail.