[Media Statement] Michigan Teen Files Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Abuse, SNAP Applauds His Courage

SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

March 15, 2021

Research into childhood sexual abuse is clear that most victims take decades to come forward due to myriad factors including shame, self-blame, and fear of reprisal. That is why the Michigan teenager who has filed a lawsuit regarding the sexual abuse he experienced in 2010 at a Lapeer-area Catholic school is so courageous. Due to his bravery and willingness to come forward, we believe others may be spared the pain of childhood sexual abuse.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was a student at Bishop Kelley Catholic School in Lapeer, MI, where he was raped by Fr. Aloysius “Al” Volskis. Making matters worse is the fact that Fr. Volskis was reported to the police and Catholic officials in “early 2011.” Despite this report, Fr. Volskis was allowed to remain in the rectory until July 2011, when he fled the US and presumably returned to Eastern Europe. We worry that due to the inaction on the part of Archdiocesan leadership that Fr. Volskis could be abusing children in his homeland today.

We applaud this survivor for having the courage to come forward at an early age. His story demonstrates that the issue of clergy sexual abuse is not a thing of the past but is still ongoing today. We hope that his bravery will inspire others who have been hurt to come forward and find healing. We also hope that the stark facts laid out in his lawsuit will draw the attention of Michigan’s attorney general, A.G. Dana Nessel, who has been steadfastly investigating cases of clergy sexual abuse and cover-up. The only way for this scourge to end is for those who enabled cases of abuse to be removed from their positions, and the sooner those changes are made children both in Lapeer and throughout the state will be better protected.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)