Judge refuses to dismiss charge against pastor

An attempt to dismiss one of the charges against the Rev. Daryl Bujak of the First Missionary Baptist Church of Elgin was denied Friday in Elgin branch court.

Authorities say a 12-year-old McHenry County girl came to Bujak in March 2005 telling him a relative had sexually molested her on several occasions.

After weekly counseling sessions that lasted about two months, Bujak, the pastor of her church, spanked the girl with a 3-foot length of 2-inch wood molding, prosecutors say.

Bujak was charged with battery with physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature and failure to report an incident of sexual assault by a mandated reporter.

The question in court Friday was whether Bujak should be charged at his upcoming trial with failure to report the alleged sexual assaults to authorities.

Attorney Ross Barlotta maintained that as a member of the clergy, Bujak would violate the principle of confidentiality if he revealed the girl’s conversations with him.

“The pastor is not compelled to talk in a professional capacity. The pastor absolutely maintains the privilege of confidence and any communication with a member of his church was privileged,” he said.

Assistant Kane County State’s Attorney Jon McKay disagreed.

“After Bujak revealed information from the counseling sessions with her mother and stepfather, he could no longer claim the right of confidentiality,” he said.

In denying the motion to dismiss the charge, Kane County Judge Susan Clancy Boles ruled that Bujak did not meet the burden of communication made in confidence.

She also ruled that Bujak could leave the state over the holiday to visit out-of-state family members.

The trial should begin after the new year.

“I still maintain my plea of innocence,” Bujak said afterward. “My day will come at my trial.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday December 23, 2007.
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