Ex-ann Arbor Priest Charged with 8 Sex Assault Felonies

By Darcie Moran
Michigan Live
July 5, 2019

A former Ann Arbor and Jackson priest accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy nearly 30 years ago has been formally charged.

Timothy M. Crowley, 70, was arraigned Saturday, June 29 in Washtenaw County on eight felony counts of criminal sexual conduct, court records show.

Crowley’s arrest was announced in May along with that of four other priests amid a large-scale investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s office into sex abuses in Catholic dioceses.

Crowley faces four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for incidents between 1986 and 1990 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, at 530 Elizabeth St. in Ann Arbor.

Ordained in 1976, Crowley served as a parochial vicar in Brighton, Flint and at Jackson’s St. Mary, Star of the Sea.

He served in Jackson from 1982-84, according to an affidavit filed in his criminal case. There, Crowley is accused of giving a 10-year-old altar boy cigarettes and alcohol, and touching his buttocks and genitalia over his clothing.

The boy also attended St. Anthony’s in Hillsdale and St. Thomas in Ann Arbor when Crowley served as pastor at those churches from 1984-87 and 1987-93, respectively, according to court filings.

Investigators say Crowley repeatedly gave the boy cigarettes and alcohol, and forced him to watch homosexual pornography while Crowley masturbated. They also accuse him of molesting him and threatening to kill him if he told nuns or his parents of the abuse.

Investigators also say Crowley admitted to having the boy stay the night in the rectory.

Crowley left St. Thomas in 1993. He and the diocese offered different versions of the terms of the departure in previous news reports.

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing paid the victim $200,000 in an out-of-court settlement in 1993, past news reports show. According to the affidavit in the criminal case, it included a non-disclosure agreement.

Crowley underwent a two-year rehabilitation program and then served the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage in Alaska, according to news reports from the early 2000s, when the allegations came under public scrutiny.

Crowley was removed from ministry in Anchorage after U.S. dioceses adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults in 2002, according to the Lansing diocese. The Lansing diocese shared information regarding Crowley with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office that same year, but the case was dropped at the request of the victim.

Crowley was defrocked in 2015.

He was arrested in Tempe, Arizona, where he appears to have been living in a continuing care retirement community.

He is represented by Ann Arbor-based attorney Joe Simon. Bond was set at $5,000, according to court records.

Simon declined to comment on his client’s charges.

Crowley is scheduled for a July 30 probable cause conference and an Aug. 6 preliminary examination.

He faces up to life in prison on the first-degree charges and up to 15 years in prison on the second-degree charges.








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