Criminal charges against former Michigan Catholic priest are reinstated; SNAP welcomes this decision

(For Immediate Release June 27, 2022) 

Late last week, a Michigan appeals court ruled that criminal charges against a defrocked Catholic priest, Timothy Michael Crowley, should be reinstated. We are thrilled by the court's decision, as it means that this dangerous man may ultimately face jail time for the crimes he is accused of committing. We hope that this decision will bring comfort to the brave survivor who has been waiting years for his day in court.

Earlier, in October of 2019, a judge had ruled that the reported assaults by the former priest that occurred in Michigan after the victim was 16 were "consensual" and dismissed those charges. Thankfully, the Michigan Attorney General's office decided to challenge this decision on appeal.

Crowley is on the list of "credibly accused" priests for both the Diocese of Lansing and the Archdiocese of Anchorage. The survivor in this case even received a settlement from the Diocese in 1993.

After the Boston Globe's SPOTLIGHT team exposed the fact that abusive Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Boston were moved to unsuspecting parishes and allowed to continue abusing, the US bishops developed the Dallas Charter in 2002. Crowley was finally removed from ministry that same year because of the Charter.

Crowley was laicized in 2015. He was arrested in Arizona in 2019 and returned to Michigan to face criminal charges. The credit for this prosecution goes to the investigation into clergy sex crimes that were instituted in Michigan after the devastating 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.

SNAP's Communications Manager Mike McDonnell noted, "We see criminal cases against Catholic clergy filed because of secular investigations, and we applaud Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for her ongoing work."

AG Nessel has been a steadfast warrior on the side of survivors and children. Her ongoing probe of Catholic sexual abuse in Michigan has been one of the most effective investigations in the country. We hope her track record will inspire anyone who suffered child sexual abuse in the Church to come forward and make a written report or call the AG’s confidential hotline at (844) 324-3374.

CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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