Michigan Priest Headed to Trial thanks to Attorney General Investigation
A priest from Michigan is heading to trial on 11 charges related to child sexual abuse allegations that were uncovered thanks to the work done by Michigan’s attorney general and her team investigating clergy abuse. We applaud the AG and her team for their work in uncovering this hidden abuser and helping keep communities safer and informed.
Fr. Gary Jacobs from the Diocese of Marquette will appear in front of the Dickinson County Circuit Court on June 1. This development would never have been likely if it were not for the secular investigation launched by AG Dana Nessel and her tireless efforts to bring survivors of clergy abuse forward and investigate their allegations. Because of A.G. Nessel and her team, children in New Mexico – where Jacobs had recently been living – are safer from harm.
We cannot understate the importance of secular investigations into clergy abuse. Too often, claims of abuse reported to church authorities are inadequately investigated – if investigated at all – and too many abusers have been able to escape consequences for abuse and live quietly among communities as counselors, teachers, and coaches.
In this case in particular, two additional accusers came forward after Jacob’s initial arrest, helping to bring more charges and substantiate the allegations brought by other victims. Again, without the public efforts of the attorney general, it is unlikely those victims would have come forward, and almost certain that they would not have had a chance at justice.
We hope the results demonstrated by A.G. Nessel will encourage other survivors and whistleblowers to contact her office and report what they know about abuse. A.G. Nessel’s confidential hotline (1-844-324-3374) is open and available for survivors and witnesses to report what they know about clergy sex crimes.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)