Lansing, Michigan


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Clergy Sex Abuse Victim Reaches Settlement (Part 2)


[The following is the text of the prepared statement I read at yesterday’s press conference.]

At the outset, we should all show our appreciation to a brave, smart, and persistent victim. He is brave because it is not easy for those who have been molested to report such unspeakable crimes. He is smart because he didn’t go it alone and sought independent help from a lawyer. And he is persistent because I was at least the third or fourth lawyer who looked at his facts. He was told by others that, in Michigan, “even if true, you can’t hold the church accountable because of Michigan’s anti-victim laws that shield pedophile priests, scout masters, and the like.”

But this victim is a friend of mine as well as a client. I believed him and, while I told him “I can’t make you better, I can’t undo what has been done to you, and I can’t do to the priest what he did to you,” we can try against odds to get you compensation. And we did receive a significant settlement.

While no amount of money can restore the shattered trust, stolen from childhood, a settlement of this type is a clear signal of a recognition of such a crippling and devastating betrayal.

During a very recent disclosure by the Lansing Diocese, Bishop Boyea asked “if there are other victims, we wish for them to come forward.” Here we are.

My client identified Monsignor John Slowey as a predator almost a year ago to the Diocese. I believe they found my client credible. This crime occurred at St. Vincent Orphanage in Lansing between June of 1954 and March of 1955, when the victim was 5 or 6 years old. I am unaware of the Lansing Diocese taking any steps to alert others as they apparently did with Reverend Martin in Laingsburg.

It seems unlikely to me that my client would be Slowey’s only victim. The pattern that has emerged in other jurisdictions seems to suggest that these predators are repeat offenders. If there are others who have been hurt at St. Vincent Orphanage or in different locations where Fr. Slowey was moved around to by the Diocese, I hope they will find the courage to follow this man’s lead and step forward. I would urge them to call on other resources of support – loved ones, therapists, police, prosecutors, and trial lawyers – to help. There are also well-established advocacy groups to help. One reason thousands of predator priests have been able to victimize so many children is because these crimes were often reported to the church and not independent sources.

Thank you for taking this issue so seriously. Perhaps some day my client will be ready to meet with and talk to the media, but at this time I would ask that you respect his privacy as he deals with these issues at his own pace.

Again, thank you.


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    I’m just curious as to how you distinguish legitimate cases from those merely exploiting the “pedophile priest” scare? After all, false allegations are more common than people realize. Remember the Day Care ritual abuse scares from the 1980s? I’m sure there have been and always will be some sex crimes occurring in day cares, or churches, or schools, or homes, but the panic and multiple accusations abounded and many innocent people went to prison, as well as giving rise to the repressed memory myth.

    I’m not denying sexual abuse happened in the Catholic Church (or anywhere else), but I wonder how much oversight there has really been in man of these settlements.

  2. Keith Richard Radford says:
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    End sex laws to curb people that feel the need to capitalize on people like cattle/sheep/duck/chickens. Politics is simple, when Oprah almost shut these laws down with her campaign to make prostitution legal in the 70″s a bunch of fascist rot, bought her and started a run, well your run is done along with sex laws, members are in the dirt too their eye lids. Nazi BS. It’s not a mental disorder to like sex as a child, the a mental disorder for making laws and manipulating a nation by media into thinking every household should line up & goose step when kids die at the rate of 90K per day and kids set up adults and other children, sometimes at the direction of other members of the family for fun/status/home ownership/money/deception/a new/God/Daddy/or? more time on stage at the local house of worship trying to impress #1 In the words of Stephen Hicks: Nazis thought socialism should control? not only economics but breeding, religion and other intimate details of life. I was chip as a child & again as n adult and met with military before I was 9 & the push for sex laws are as bogus as the legeslators that think they contribute to anyone. So come get me Uncle Sam because this laws is worse than butt sex with the dead.