Notorious Defrocked Michigan Priest Pleads Guilty; SNAP Responds
(For Immediate Release August 24, 2023)
Timothy Crowley, a former priest at St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Crowley was arrested in 2019 in Tempe, Arizona, and his case was dismissed after a preliminary examination. However, the Attorney General's office prevailed in an appeal to the Court of Appeals, and criminal charges were reinstated in 2022.
Crowley pleaded guilty in Washtenaw County Circuit Court to four felony counts of first-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and four felony counts of second-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct related to his abuse three decades ago of a minor. This marks the ninth conviction secured by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team of investigators since the inquiries began in 2018. It is important to note that criminal charges have been levied in 11 cases, and two defendants remain in India awaiting extradition.
We are glad that Crowley is facing consequences for his actions, and we thank the victim-centered, trauma-informed investigation by the Michigan State Police and Attorney General Dana Nessel and the staff in the Department of Attorney General that this predator was tracked down and brought back to Michigan to face his crimes. This is something church officials should have done long ago.
Our gratitude to the survivors who have come forward to share their stories and bring attention to the abuse that has been endured by too many children for too long. Justice delayed is always a denial of justice, and now that an outcome has been determined, it is our hope that the newly realized justice will bring healing to the victims and survivors in this case as well as a deterrent force to those who would look the other way when suspected predators are reported.
Clearly, Crowley was enabled to put more kids in harm's way by church officials. We know sexual predators and those who enable them often do not get enough punishment, but church officials continue to say that abuse is a thing of the past, clearly, that is not the truth. The crimes committed by trusted figures in the catholic church are revealed in numbers more and more each day, and so too are those who enabled them.
Now that the wheels of justice have moved against Crowley, it is hoped that all victims of abuse in Michigan will feel encouraged to come forward, make a report to law enforcement, and start healing. Regardless of when, where, or by whom they were abused, it is hoped that anyone suffering in silence will find the strength to begin their own journey to recovery.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)