sex abuse | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

sex abuse

Priests accused of sex abuse turned to under-the-radar group

Jul 29, 2019
priest collar
pxhere / Public Domain

The visiting priests arrived discreetly, day and night.

Stripped of their collars and cassocks, they went unnoticed in this tiny Midwestern town as they were escorted into a dingy warehouse across from an elementary school playground. Neighbors had no idea some of the dressed-down clergymen dining at local restaurants might have been accused sexual predators.

A Catholic priest
Adobe Stock

Michigan’s attorney general wants to use the state’s share of a national bank fraud settlement to investigate sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel says this would be the best use of the money collected from Wells Fargo for misleading and improperly charging fees to customers.

Wikimedia Commons

Today on Stateside, the priest in charge of processing cases of sexual abuse by clergy in the Detroit diocese responds to state Attorney General Dana Nessel’s call for the Catholic church to stop investigating itself. Plus, the legal gray area around growing – and selling – hemp and its products, including CBD oil.    

lower half of gymnast on balance beam
Flickr user James Thomas / Creative Commons

Katie Payne lives in California now. She and her sister, Maureen Payne Baum, grew up in the Detroit area.

Their mom still lives there. And a few months ago, their mom was driving to work, listening to news on the radio, when a story came on. A US Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor was being accused of sexual abuse.

It was just 4 a.m. in California. But Payne’s mom called her anyway.

A brick church
User VanZandt / Flickr- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The former archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is coming to Battle Creek.

John Nienstedt resigned from the Twin Cities archdiocese last summer, as county prosecutors alleged the church had failed to protect children from clergy sex abuse during his tenure.

St. Philip Roman Catholic Church’s newsletter says Nienstedt once worked as a pastor in Royal Oak and Detroit.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo issued this written statement:

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A Michigan Court of Appeals ruling this week is being criticized by a national group that campaigns against sexual abuse by priests. The court ruled that a west Michigan minister could not be charged for failing to report suspected child abuse.

In 2009, a woman asked the minister’s advice because she suspected her husband of abusing her daughters. But it wasn’t until another incident in 2011 that the minister convinced her to report the suspected abuse.   The pastor's attorney says no initial report was made because the allegations were sketchy.