MI Supreme Court rejects appeal in lawsuit against Diocese in tutor’s sexual abuse of teen

By Melissa Frick
April 18, 2020

The Michigan Supreme dismissed a young man’s appeal in a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids that was previously dismissed, which accuses the Diocese of negligence in the Abigail Simon case. Simon is a former Catholic school tutor convicted for having sex with a teen.

The Michigan Supreme Court shot down a young man’s appeal in a negligence lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids that was previously dismissed in Kent County Circuit Court, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit accuses the diocese and three Catholic school employees of negligence in the sexual abuse of a Catholic school teen who was assaulted by a tutor. The victim, who was 15 at the time of the abuse, accuses the defendants of failing to prevent Abigail Simon, a former Catholic school tutor, from abusing him.

The teen filed the lawsuit in 2015 against the diocese, Grand Rapids Catholic Secondary School and three administrators, claiming not enough was done to prevent high school tutor Abigail Simon from abusing the teen.

Simon was convicted in November 2014 of criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to prison. Now 40, Simon is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence. At trial, she claimed the teen was the one who sexually assaulted her.

School officials testified they were unaware of the sexual relationship between the teen and the tutor in 2013 at Catholic Central High School.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Quist dismissed the lawsuit in 2017 and the state appeals court agreed with the dismissal in 2018.

The supreme court’s appeals rejection wasn’t unanimous, the Associated Press reports. Three justices – Bridget McCormack, Richard Bernstein and Megan Cavanagh – said they wanted to hear the case.

Cavanagh said the supreme court’s order that the previous testimony of school officials, which characterized Simon as acting “too friendly” to male students, was “an issue warranting further consideration by this court.”


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.