Rosary Cathedral: Former maintenance man pleads guilty to receipt of child pornography

Daniel Szymanski, a former maintenance staff person at Rosary Cathedral Parish, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of receipt of child pornography. Mr. Szymanski resigned his position in May after informing Father Charles Singler, rector of Rosary Cathedral Parish, that a federal investigation had begun regarding himself and the possession of child pornography on a personal computer at his home.

The following are letters to Rosary Cathedral parishioners and parents of students from diocesan and school representatives.

From a news release from the Diocese of Toledo:

December 18, 2008

Dear Parents of Rosary Cathedral School:

On November 4, 2008, Mr. Daniel Szymanski, a former maintenance staff person at Rosary Cathedral Parish, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of receipt of child pornography.  Mr. Szymanski resigned his position at our parish, which included the school, on May 19, 2008 after informing Father Charles Singler, rector of Rosary Cathedral Parish, that a federal investigation had begun regarding himself and the possession of child pornography on a personal computer at his home.  The investigation continued until his appearance in federal court on November 4, 2008.  Father Singler immediately accepted his resignation on May 19, 2008.  Mr. Szymanski's sentencing will take place at a later date.

We have been assured by both Father Singler and former school principal, Mr. Eric Smola, all parish and school computers were checked for inappropriate materials, websites, etc., and found to be clear of any such materials.  Mr. Szymanski had no past report of this behavior as evidenced by his most recent Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCII) Report, which was presented to the parish at the time of his employment.

Please let us assure you that the administration and staff, along with the Diocese of Toledo, are committed to the safety and protection of your children in attendance here at Rosary Cathedral school.  All of our administration and staff, both teaching and support, are following Diocesan policy regarding background checks on all employees prior to them starting work with or around your children.

In an effort to protect our children, the Diocese of Toledo continually urges anyone to report any suspected or actual sexual abuse of a minor by diocesan personnel.  You are encouraged to immediately contact Mr. Frank DiLallo, diocesan Case Manager, at 419-243-2150 (private line) or 419-244-6711, etc. 632 in the Toledo area, or 1-800-926-8277 (outside Toledo, within Ohio).

This has been a deeply disheartening situation, but we assure you that we as a school community remain vigilant in our efforts to provide your children with a safe place in which to learn and pray.

Respectfully yours,

Sr. Mary Carol Gregory, SND

Paul H. Conrad, M.Ed.

Director CCMTS   Principal

18 December 2008

Dear Parishioners of Rosary Cathedral:

It is with a heavy heart and spirit that I inform you of a recent development involving a former parish employee.

On November 4, 2008, Mr. Daniel Szymanski, a former maintenance staff person at Rosary Cathedral, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of receipt of child pornography. Mr. Szymanski resigned from his custodial staff position at our parish and school on May 19, 2008 after informing me that a federal investigation had begun regarding himself and the possession of child pornography on a personal computer at his home. The investigation continued until his appearance in federal court on November 4. I immediately accepted this resignation on May 19, 2008. Mr. Szymanski's sentencing will take place at a later date.

A complete review of all parish and school owned computers by diocesan and school officials immediately following Mr. Szymanski's termination of employment indicated that no pornography was downloaded on our campus computers. As a parish employee, he had been fingerprinted and a mandatory Bureau of Criminal Identification report indicated that no criminal activity was reported at the time of his employment application.

The Diocese of Toledo is committed to the safety and protection of all youth on our campuses. In an effort to protect children and offer healing, the Diocese of Toledo continually urges anyone to report any suspected or actual sexual abuse of a minor by diocesan personnel. Immediate contact should be made with local civil authorities, and with the Toledo Diocesan Case Manager, Mr. Frank DiLallo. He can be reached at 419-243-2150 (private line) or 419-244-6711, ext 632 in the Toledo area, or 1-800-926-8277, ext 632 (outside Toledo, within Ohio).

This has been a deeply saddening situation. We remain vigilant in our effort as a parish and school community to provide a safe environment for all who study and pray on our campus.

Sincerely in Christ,

Reverend Charles E. Singler, D. Min.

Cathedral Rector