Priest Will Not Face Sex Charges

Ann Arbor News (Michigan)
November 19, 2003

A man told Catholic church officials in 1993 that a former Ann Arbor priest sexually abused him for eight years when he was a minor, according to police reports obtained recently by The Ann Arbor News.

Police began investigating allegations against the Rev. Timothy Crowley after receiving files earlier this year from the Lansing Diocese, but stopped once it became clear that charges would not be filed against Crowley, authorities said. First Assistant Prosecutor Rolland Sizemore III said no charges will be filed since the accuser asked that the case be dropped.

Diocese officials will not comment on the case.

Prosecutor Brian Mackie sought the diocese's files after reports were published about abuse and mishandled cases in Boston.

Crowley was the former pastor of the St. Thomas parish in Ann Arbor, but was removed in 1993. He was transferred to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1995 and lost his authority to say Mass in 2002.

Reached in Alaska, Crowley said only that he is retired and declined further comment.

In a 1993 affidavit, the accuser said Crowley sexually assaulted him from 1982, when he was 10 years old, until 1990 at an unidentified church west of Detroit. It started with touching and hugging, the affidavit says.

Crowley moved on to St. Anthony Church in Hillsdale and St. Thomas in Ann Arbor where the reports say the abuse continued. The accuser, now 30, would not comment.

Accusations against Crowley were made public in April 2002 by the former Lansing bishop. In an interview with The News at that time, Crowley said that he was treated fairly by the diocese but didn't directly answer allegations of sexual abuse.

Although no civil lawsuit could be found in this case, the accuser settled with the diocese for $200,000, according to the state police reports, obtained by The News under a Freedom of Information Act request.

State law at the time of the allegations did not require the diocese to report child sex abuse allegations to police. But the law was changed in 2002 to require clergy, teachers and social workers to report all such incidents.


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