Nessel: Probe finds abuse allegations against 270 priests involving 552 victims

Detroit News

Dec. 23, 2019

Beth LeBlanc

Attorney General Dana Nessel plans to announce charges against two more priests after the first of the year and is reviewing two additional warrants related to the investigation into clergy abuse in the Catholic Church in Michigan.

Seven priests have been charged, two of whom have pleaded guilty, in the wide-ranging investigation that so far has included 1.5 million seized paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents. The information has been reviewed by 32 volunteers who put in over 1,400 hours at night and on weekends, Nessel said Monday.

The department has received 641 tips on its clergy abuse hotline, identified 270 priests alleged to be abusers and received allegations involving 552 victims of clergy sexual abuse, Nessel said. She estimated the department would identify “several thousand” victims by the end of the investigation.

“The vast majority of the cases can’t be prosecuted based on the statute of limitations issues,” Nessel said.

“I hope that part of this investigation is really sort of a thorough vetting of what can be done in the future so that we can address these types of concerns earlier and better,” she said.

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