More than 150 tips received as part of MI Attorney General’s probe into Catholic Church

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AG Investigation

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – As the Michigan Attorney General’s Office continues to look into allegations of sexual abuse by priests across our state, it has received more than 150 tips into a hotline it created for individuals to submit confidential reports.

The tips have come into the telephone hotline and website, according to Andrea Bitely, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office. She declined to comment any further, citing an ongoing investigation.

Last month, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the launch of that investigation, which will examine allegations of sexual abuse and assault of children by Catholic priests at all seven dioceses in Michigan, dating as far back as 1950.

On his website, Schuette said his department has determined that a “full and complete” investigation within the Catholic Church is required.

It will also look into any potential cover ups of abuse or assault.

This investigation is and will continue to be independent, thorough, transparent, and prompt,” he said. “My department and this investigation will find out who knew what, and when.”

Bitely said the probe was prompted by a grand jury report in Pennsylvania said roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests molested more than 1,000 children since the 1940’s.

Catholic Church dioceses across Michigan said they’re fully cooperating with the Attorney General’s investigation. Links to statements from each of the dioceses can be found below. 

In a statement, the Diocese of Lansing said it welcomes a review of its handling of abuse cases by Michigan’s Attorney General. It also said it fully cooperated in the execution of a search warrant earlier this month, which is related to the current investigation.  

“We are confident in our processes. We have and will continue to reach out to law enforcement with these matters,” the September statement said. 

Bishop Earl Boyea also announced that he is planning to invite an external agency of lay professionals to audit Diocese of Lansing files and verify that the diocese handled allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clerics appropriately.

“Their report will be made public on the diocesan website along with the names of those who abused minors.”

While the investigation is ongoing, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office is asking the public to come forward with any information if they have it.

Information can be submitted through a designated website, by calling a hotline at 844-324-3374, or by email to aginvestigations@michigan.gov.

Remember, you can remain anonymous.

Stay with 6 News for updates on this story as it develops.

Diocese of Lansing statements on investigation: https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/news/diocese-lansing-welcomes-michigan-attorney-general-investigation , https://www.dioceseoflansing.org/news/michigan-attorney-general-executes-search-warrant

Diocese of Saginaw statements on investigation: https://www.saginaw.org/news/bishop-cistones-letter-faithful-regarding-michigan-attorney-generals-investigation, https://www.saginaw.org/news/diocese-cooperates-michigan-attorney-general-investigation

Diocese of Detroit statements on investigation: http://www.aod.org/our-archdiocese/newsroom/news-releases/2018/september/archdiocese-welcomes-attorney-general-investigation-into-7-michigan-catholic-dioceses/, http://www.aod.org/our-archdiocese/newsroom/news-releases/2018/october/archdiocese-of-detroit-offers-update-on-michigan-attorney-general-investigation/

Diocese of Kalamazoo statements on investigation: https://diokzoo.org/documents/2018/9/Letter%20to%20the%20Faithful%20from%20Bishop%20Bradley%20September%2021%202018.pdf , https://diokzoo.org/documents/2018/9/DOK%20statement%20regarding%20AG%20investigation%20announcement%20September%202018.pdf

Diocese of Grand Rapids statements on investigation: https://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/multimedia/Pages/michigan-attorney-general-investigation-catholic-church.aspx, https://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/multimedia/Pages/michigan-attorney-general-investigation-update-Oct-2018.aspx

Diocese of Gaylord statements on investigation: http://www.dioceseofgaylord.org/news/101/2161/ , http://www.dioceseofgaylord.org/news/101/2162/

Diocese of Marquette statements on investigation: http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/newsreleases/251 http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/newsreleases/252

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