ROCKFORD– Former Woodstock St. Mary Catholic Church Pastor Aaron Brodeski on Friday was charged with two misdemeanor counts of public indecency by the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office.
Brodeski, 44, turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Brodeski, who who had been pastor of Holy Cross church in Batavia on Feb. 25, 2013, has been on leave from the church.
He has been a priest in the Rockford Diocese since 1998. On March 27, the Winnebago County Sheriff's Police were sent to the Road Ranger Gas Station at 4980 South Main St., just south of Rockford, for a report of a man who had exposed himself to an employee, according to a release from the Winnebago County Sheriff's Police.
The station clerk told deputies that the man had exposed himself while in the store and also while parked in a car in the store's parking lot, according to the release. Other employees and customers were in the store at the time.
The subject had left the area before deputies arrived at the store, however, deputies obtained his license plate number, which led them to Brodeski.
In a statement, Rockford Diocese officials asked "for all people of the diocese to pray for Monsignor Brodeski and the legal process that will resolve this case." Diocese officials said that Winnebago County authorities alerted the diocese last month that they were investigating an alleged incident involving Brodeski.
"In full cooperation with authorities, Msgr. Brodeski agreed to be immediately placed on personal leave from his priestly assignment at Holy Cross Parish in Batavia, and was sent for evaluation and possible treatment for any difficulties affecting his conduct and ministry," the statement said.
"Following Msgr. Brodeski’s return from evaluation, the diocese learned that the investigation resulted in his arrest."
Brodeski was ordained in 1998, according to the diocese. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Crystal Lake and religion teacher at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock. He was a pastor in Woodstock for about five years.
In 1999, he began to coordinate Rock 2000, a summer event for youths and young adults centered on the Eucharist and the sacraments, according to the diocese. Brodeski was made associate diocesan director of vocations and the spiritual adviser for the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in 2000.
He also was pastor of St. Mary Parish in Byron, invested with the title of “monsignor” also in 2008, according to the diocese.