Catholic Dioceses of Michigan Under Investigation

The Legal Examiner

December 28, 2018

By David Mittleman

The Michigan Attorney General’s office announced earlier this year it was joining several other states in investigating allegations of sexual abuse and assault of children and others by Catholic priests from the 1950s till today. All 7 Michigan Catholic Dioceses are being investigated. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Lansing Diocese welcomed the investigation. Church members formed a coalition, and asked the Lansing Bishop for transparency during the investigation. As of October, more than 150 tips were called into a hotline. I don’t know when the final report will be published, but I predict that it will not paint the Michigan Catholic Dioceses as a very pretty picture. Will it be as bad or worse than Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, California? Probably.

This prediction is not made on any inside information. But I have seen the movie. In 2010 Greg Guggemos retained me to represent him against the Lansing Diocese to hold them accountable because of what a priest did to him 50 years earlier when he was 5 years old at St. Vincent Orphanage. Greg explained the reason he went public after settling his case with the Catholic Diocese of Lansing for 2 reasons, “One, he hopes if there are other victims, they will have the courage to come forward. Secondly, he hopes Michigan law will change and the statute of limitations will increase so other victims will have their day in court.” Greg has been published in many newspapers and encourages everyone to watch the movie Spotlight.

I couldn’t agree more with Greg. His bravery and courage to come forward, remembering the unthinkable, and the settlement led to me interviewing almost 50 people, mostly men, who all had similar stories to tell me. So I know. I am willing to help. It is part of the process.

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