2019 was a big year for some victims of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church. Not only was the statute of limitation in many states amended to hold organizations, such as the Catholic Church, accountable, but in 2019 Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed charges against five Michigan priests. As we close out the year, AG Nessel has announced she has no plans of backing down until justice prevails.
Since the AG opened its investigation, the department has received 641 tips regarding clergy abuse. Those tips amounted to allegations against 270 priests involving abuse of 552 victims. The investigation, first estimated to take two years, may last longer because of lack of funding.
Although the AG’s office reviewed 130 cases for potential filing of charges, 50 of those charges could not proceed to filing because the statute of limitations had expired. “The vast majority of the cases can’t be prosecuted based on the statue of limitations issues,” Nessel said in an interview on Monday December 23, 2019. However, even with statute of limitation issues in some cases, AG Nessel announced her office plans to file charges against two more priests in the beginning of 2020.
Survivors of clergy sexual abuse are gaining strength day after day to stand up and share their stories thanks, in part, to the work of organizations such as the Attorney General’s office who seek to hold the Catholic Church accountable. Inability to prosecute cases or file suit against the church because of statute of limitation issues is unacceptable. The law needs to change and Grewal Law, PLLC is here to fight for that change.
Sammie Eyde began working at Grewal Law, PLLC in April 2019. Although recently barred in Michigan, Ms. Eyde’s experience in California as a Deputy Public Defender gave her tremendous experience in handling all phases of a criminal case from arraignment through trial and all the way to post-sentencing matters.