Abuse Charges Won't Be Pursued

By Tim Martin
Lansing State Journal
July 23, 2002

Prosecutors won't seek a police investigation in the case of a Lansing man who says representatives of the Catholic Church abused him in 1966.

Bill Kinney says he was sexually assaulted by Jeffrey Gregory, a Christian Brother, and fondled by the Rev. James S. Sullivan, a former Lansing- area priest who became bishop in Fargo, N.D.

The statute of limitations to prosecute the types of incidents described in the allegations has expired, Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said on Monday.

Dunnings said he is not passing judgment on Kinney's credibility.

But the statute of limitations was about six or seven years in the mid-1960s, he said.

"I don't think such an investigation would be warranted or appropriate," Dunnings said. "Even without the statute of limitations, I'd still have problems prosecuting this case."

However, Dunnings would not elaborate on those issues.

The Diocese of Lansing, which reported the allegations to prosecutors, has said it does not believe either of Kinney's claims.

"We are disappointed that Bishop Sullivan's name has not been cleared in this case," said Michael Diebold, diocese spokesman. "We believe the allegation against him is false."

Kinney said Monday that he considered it a "travesty" that the statute of limitations bars an investigation.


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