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Saginaw– A Michigan priest who is on administrative leave while church officials investigate an allegation of misconduct with a minor says he’s innocent.

The Rev. Dennis Kucharczyk told The Saginaw News in an interview published online Tuesday that he was made “to look like a pervert” and his reputation and credibility damaged when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saginaw announced his suspension from the ministry in May.

Diocese spokeswoman Erin Looby Carlson says an investigation by the diocese and law enforcement is ongoing. The diocese has said the alleged misconduct “occurred many years ago.”

The 61-year-old Kucharczyk is pastor of St. John XXIII Parish, which includes Hemlock, Merrill and Ryan churches. He also served churches in Caro, Caseville, Pinnebog, Midland, Linwood and Saginaw.

Supporters last week held a rally on his behalf.

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