The Diocese of Lansing released an independent external review on how it handled two cases of sexual misconduct against a priest.
The Diocese of Lansing paid the law firm to review the allegations against 82-year-old Father Pat Egan. Egan was a priest in Lansing in 1983 and has lived on and off in the Ann Arbor area since.
The law firm, Honigman LLP carried out the external audit, which can be viewed here.
The law firm found that:
- allegations against Egan included potential sexual harassment, sexual abuse and improper sexual conduct
- Diocese of Lansing failed to investigate an allegation made in 1990
- Diocese of Lansing conducted a limited investigation 12 years after the initial allegation determining the complainant was a minor
- Diocese of Lansing properly investigated the allegations between 2014 and 2017
The audit concluded that the Dicoese was in violation of Diocesan policies in the 1990s when the first allegation against Fr. Egan was made.
In 1990, a 27-year-old man alleges sexual abuse with Egan. Egan refuted the man’s interpretation of the events. The Diocese of Lansing was notified about the allegations. Upon bringing attention to the Diocese, the Bishop, Kenneth Povish did not launch an investigation against Fr. Egan.
In 2004, the Diocesan Review Board had been newly established and reviewed the 1990 allegation. The audit states that “since the review board’s jurisdiction is limited to sexual abuse of minors, their investigation was also limited to determining whether the victim was a minor at the time of the alleged events. The Review Board concluded that Fr. Egan’s victim was an adult and thus closed their inquiry.”
The audit states that the county prosecutors did not investigate the case due to statute of limitations.
The second allegation came against Fr. Egan came in August 2014 when a man in his early 20s alleged unusual activity by Fr. Egan during boxing sessions.
Upon receiving the allegation, the Diocese launched an investigation and put restrictions on Fr. Egan’s activities. In Sept. 2014, Fr. Egan was barred from participating in boxing events and ministering to young people outside of the classroom and church, the audit states.
In September 2018, multiple sources notified the Diocese that Fr. Egan had renewed attempts in boxing, which was in violation of the prohibition the Diocese imposed in 2014.
The audit found that the Diocese improperly handled the allegations in 1990 and 2003 by failing to investigate the allegations. Current diocesan policy would have mandated that an investigation into the allegation be launched and disciplinary action applied had the allegation been confirmed.
The audit found that the Diocese had been in accordance with Dicoesan policies upon review of the allegations made against Fr. Egan between 2014 and 2017.