Michigan’s clergy abuse probe identifies 454 accused priests, 811 victims


October 21, 2020

By Justine Lofton

[With 5-minute video statement by AG Nessel.]

A two-year investigation into sexual abuse in Michigan’s Catholic churches has, so far, identified 454 accused priests and 811 victims, and led to charges against 11 clergymen.

Of the 11 charged, two have been convicted thus far. Their sentences were for 60 and 45 days in jail.

“We are committed to ensuring that every case of sexual abuse and assault is thoroughly reviewed and that whenever we are able to pursue justice for a victim, we do so aggressively and relentlessly,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “We must all commit to breaking down the walls of silence that so often surround sexual assault and abuse. In the end, we hope this investigation provides a voice to those who have suffered in silence for so long and shines a light on those offenders who have escaped punishment for their crimes by hiding in shadows.”

Authorities executed search warrants in October 2018 on all seven of Michigan’s Catholic dioceses. Two-hundred and twenty boxes of paper documents and more than 3.5 million digital documents were seized for review by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office’s Clergy Abuse Investigative Team.

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