Attorney General Dana Nessel releases preliminary report into clergy abuse

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 3:23 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Attorney General Dana Nessel has provided and update on her investigation into clergy abuse. The two-year-long investigation focused on seven Catholic dioceses in Michigan.

Various Michigan law enforcement agencies and 15 special agents from the Attorney General’s office executed search warrants on Oct. 3, 2018, at Michigan’s seven dioceses. They seized 220 boxes of paper documents and more than 3.5 million digital documents.

A slowdown in court operations due to COVID-19 means that no charged cases have been resolved through plea deals or trial since late 2019. Despite those delays the Department of the Attorney General has continued to review documents along with other steps to further the investigation.

So far the department has completed the paper document review of the Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Marquette dioceses. They have completed the electronic document review of the Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Marquette dioceses. In addition, a full-time victim advocate has been hired and trained to support the hundreds of victims identified in the course of the investigation.

The department’s review of paper documents has produced 454 accused priests and identified 811 reported victims, a number which may change as the investigation continues.

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