Priest Accused of Abuse Has Case Tossed Due to Statute of Limitations
Fr. Timothy Crowley was able to avoid a trial on allegations that he had sexually abused a minor while working in three Ann Arbor area parishes in the late 1980s. The case was dismissed not because the facts of the allegations were in dispute, but because the judge believed the time had run out to bring charges thanks to Michigan’s archaic statute of limitations laws.
We applaud Fr. Crowley's courageous survivor and everyone in law enforcement who investigated and pursued this case. We hope others who saw, suspected or suffered abuse at the hands of the priest will now be emboldened to step forward and call police and prosecutors. We urge every single staffer who worked at the parishes where Fr. Crowley was assigned to look among themselves for victims, ask others if they saw or suspected abuse, and help any still-silent victims come forward are start healing.
Finally, we hope that members of the public in Michigan will recognize the injustice in this case and see the need to reform civil and criminal statutes of limitation so that children are better protected, abusers are jailed, and communities can be safer.
(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)