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Michigan Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse Victims Have an Opportunity for Justice and Potential Compensation

Michigan Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse Victims Have an Opportunity for Justice and Potential Compensation

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Michigan has seen numerous lawsuits and settlements related to priest sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic dioceses.

Abusive priests have been using their positions of power for decades to sexually abuse child victims, and survivors are now demanding action and compensation from Catholic dioceses that protected the accused priests.

Many survivors have filed clergy abuse lawsuits against accused priests, clergy members, and dioceses that covered up abuse allegations.

Michigan Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse Victims File Claims

There have been several recent lawsuits filed against Michigan priests, including an 18-year-old who filed a federal lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Detroit in March 2021.

The man claims he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was eight years old and named the archdiocese, Bishop Kelley Catholic School, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Parish, and Archbishop Allen Vigneron as additional defendants.

These parties allowed the abuse to happen by giving the priest access to young children, and they attempted to protect the abusive priest from legal consequences.

The seven Michigan dioceses have paid numerous settlements to survivors of clergy abuse, for example:

  • The Archdiocese of Detroit has paid roughly $4M in settlements and other costs related to abuse allegations;
  • Lansing Diocese paid approximately $699,000 in settlements between 1988 and 2002;
  • In 2010, the Lansing Diocese paid an additional $225,000 to the alleged victim of Monsignor John Slowey;
  • In 2002, Grand Rapids Diocese Bishop Robert Rose publicly disclosed settlement figures; and,
  • Over the course of 40 years, the diocese paid more than $1 million to settle abuse claims. 

Through these lawsuits, some survivors are able to win compensation and get the justice they deserve.

Extending the Statute of Limitations for Michigan Catholic Priest Clergy Abuse Victims

The statute of limitations on child abuse cases in Michigan is ranked as one of the worst in the country for Michigan Catholic priest clergy abuse victims.

2016 legislation extended the statute of limitations for sexual assault cases in Michigan by 10 years—previously for first-degree offenses, there was no time limit on when a crime can be prosecuted.

However, a new bipartisan legislative package follows several sexual abuse scandals at a few Michigan universities in recent years and has been introduced in Michigan that would allow sexual abuse survivors more time to sue until they turn age 52.

The legislation would give survivors more time to come forward and offer them more tools to navigate the criminal justice system.

The bills would help hold institutions accountable and require that survivors are informed of their right to access advocates, attorneys, counselors, and other supports as they navigate through the reporting process.

We believe Michigan catholic priest clergy abuse victims and their families deserve justice and potential compensation.

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