Two former priests associated with the Diocese of Marquette are facing criminal sexual conduct charges as part of the Department of Attorney General’s investigation into clergy sex abuse. Gary Allen Jacobs, 74 years old, and Roy Joseph, 52, both face at least one felony count of criminal sexual conduct.
Detractors looking to cast doubt on allegations of child sex abuse often claim the survivor made up the incident. This argument can be especially prevalent when it involves abuse that happened decades earlier, when the survivor was a young child.
The trauma of sexual abuse is far-reaching and can affect a survivor for decades. Some may manage the personal, physical and mental health effects for the rest of their life. But these impacts do not only point inward.
Abusive priests did not all target one type of person. Each preyed upon individuals from different communities in all parts of the country, taking advantage when they believed they could. Survivors come from all walks of life.
As the Department of Attorney General’s criminal investigation into clergy abuse has progressed, we have learned more and more about the injustices that occurred. But recent comments by the attorney general herself suggest what we’ve seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg.
The full extent of the clergy sexual abuse scandal here in Michigan is still unfolding. New criminal charges, convictions and news reports suggest many survivors are still in the process of finding justice. Some of them may be wondering about the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit against their abuser, but are worried too much time has passed.
It was 18 years ago when dioceses and religious orders across the country began publicly releasing the names of clergy members credibly accused of sexually abusing children. Facing increasing scrutiny, these public releases were made under the banner of disclosure and transparency, or as a condition of a settlement.
Most friends and family members of clergy abuse survivors want to show support for their loved one. Knowing how to do that can be difficult. What's the right thing to say? Is there anything you should - or shouldn't - do?
A priest accused of wrapping a teenage boy in plastic, taping his eyes and mouth shut then shutting him in a church janitorial room, is pleading guilty.