"Never inappropriate touching," he said. "I never ever would have done such a thing."
He said other adults were always in attendance when they gathered at the lake house and everyone was "fully clothed."
Perrone also denied allegations from two individuals that he served wine to minors, but then went on to describe offering wine to a child.
"I mean I may have had wine in their presence," he said, "but I've never given them a drink. In fact one time I remember being with one of our altar boys and his dad in the rectory and I said, 'Do you want him to have a little bit of this glass of wine?' that we were drinking and it wasn't the dad, it was the kid that said, 'No, I don't want any of that.' Never drinking wine."
Three other former altar boys interviewed by AP said they never experienced or even heard of sexual abuse by Perrone, though one said Perrone struck his head with a book for misbehaving and another said that as a child he was afraid the priest would hit him. They also spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their privacy.
For 25 years, Perrone has presided over his church, known locally as Assumption Grotto, an imposing stone edifice encircled by abandoned lots in downtown Detroit. An archconservative who has criticized liberal values and homosexuality within the Catholic church, Perrone offered Mass in Latin, preaching strict sermons to some-600 congregants on Sundays, often scolding them for not being true believers and for being ungrateful and impure.
In a recent parish newsletter, Perrone wrote about the impact of sexual abuse and other misconduct within the church.
"The real shame is not the publicity of horrid, secret sins but the venting of lewd passion, the foul degradation of the flesh, the mortal sins committed," he wrote. "Where did holiness go?"
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