Fr. Lawrence M. Ventline

Ordained: 1976
Status: Ministry restricted by diocese

Diocese: Archdiocese of Detroit MI

In 2016, an allegation of abuse by Ventline was brought to the Archdiocese of Detroit, which referred the complaint to the Oakland County prosecutor, conducted a canonical review, and restricted Ventline from public ministry. On 5/24/19 Michigan AG Dana Nessel announced that Ventline ‘is facing an administrative complaint and his license as a professional educationally limited counselor has been summarily suspended by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).’ The Administrative Complaint alleged that Ventline had ‘sexually assaulted’ an 11-year-old boy three times in the church sacristy in 1989-1990. At the time, Ventline was pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Lake Orion MI. Ventline denied the allegations, saying he was the victim, and stated that ‘a lawsuit will be filed’ against the AG. On 6/10/19, Ventline was included on the list of Clergy Credibly Accused of Abuse published by the Detroit archdiocese, which noted that he was restricted from public ministry and stated that he ‘is prohibited from representing himself as a priest, wearing clerical attire, exercising any form of church ministry.’ His license was revoked on 9/6/19, after ‘Ventline failed to file a formal response to the complaint,’ and he was fined $5,000. On 9/30/19, a news report stated that Ventline had been charged with indecent exposure in Bad Axe MI in early summer 2019. On 1/23/20, Ventline pleaded no contest to the charge, which does not constitute an admission of guilt. Judge reportedly relied on court documents to enter a conviction on the record and sentenced Ventline to ten days in jail. Ventline stated that he completed nine days of community service instead. On 10/5/20 the Michigan AG summarized the Ventline case in her second year update: ‘Ventline faced three separate reports of sexual abuse of a minor. The statute of limitations expired on each report of abuse but LARA was able to remove the professional counseling license of Ventline to ensure that he would not be able to legally counsel children.’ Ventline states that he had retired from counseling before the Administrative Complaint was filed on 5/15/19.


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