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  “[It is] more likely than not that [longtime teacher and football coach] Johnnie Stewart engaged in a sexual relationship with Angela Campbell Sturgill when she was a student at Hanover-Horton High School,” an investigation released by the school district on Friday says.  

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A sixth priest was arrested on Monday morning by special agents from Attorney General Dana Nessel's office as part of Nessel's ongoing investigation into clergy abuse in the Catholic church.

Father Joseph Baker was charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct first degree (sexual penetration with a person under 13). His arraignment will be in the 29th District Court in Wayne.

 

The Hanover-Horton school district says while it was aware police were investigating high school football coach Johnnie Stewart for sexual assault, the district allowed him to keep coaching and teaching as the months-long investigation played out.

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Saginaw’s new Catholic bishop says he’s committed to “transparency and accountability” on matters concerning sexual abuse by priests.

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today 21 counts of criminal sexual conduct against five men following a clergy abuse investigation. Four of the men have been arrested, while one awaits extradition from India. 

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Saginaw county prosecutors say the prospect of audio recordings of himself being played in open court prompted a Catholic priest to plead no contest in a sexual assault case.

Last week, a jury acquitted Rev. Robert Deland Jr. on charges he sexually assaulted two teens. 

But before a second trial on additional charges could begin this week, Deland pleaded no contest to a sexual assault charge and two other charges.  

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A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit has responded to comments by attorney general Dana Nessel about ongoing sexual abuse investigations. Nessel called on the church to stop its internal investigations so that police could handle sexual abuse complaints.

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Today on Stateside, we hear from two Catholics who have been pushing for changes in their dioceses in response to the allegations of sexual abuse by priests. Plus, Afrofuturism was spotlighted for an international audience in last year’s wildly successful film Black Panther. But the philosophy and art of Afrofuturism have had a home in Detroit for decades.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Crimes of sexual abuse committed by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar and the chaos they provoked have been named the Story of the Year in balloting by Associated Press members and editors.

Larry Nassar at Eaton County sentencing
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Deleted emails. Documents removed in boxes and a suitcase. Lying to investigators. An FBI investigation into Larry Nassar that stalled for seven months.

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Michigan's new sexual assault hotline was flooded with calls during Senate hearings on a sexual assault allegation against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The group that runs the helpline, the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, says calls to the helpline increased 50 to 100 percent Thursday, as the hearings were widely broadcast throughout the day.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Prosecutors and police say a Catholic priest’s ‘no contest’ pleas to sexual abuse charges this week will give his victims closure.

Father Robert Deland was scheduled to face the first of three trials this week. The charges related to incidents involving three young men, between the ages of 17 and 21. But before jury selection could begin, Deland entered 'no contest' pleas to six felony and one misdemeanor charge. 

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Michigan State University has stopped payments to sexual abuse victims because of suspicion of possible fraudulent claims.

The $10 million fund was set up earlier this year to pay for counseling services for the survivors of abuse by former MSU sports physician Larry Nassar. 

Matt Mencarini is with a reporter with Lansing State Journal. He broke the story of the halted funds earlier this week. Mencarini joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to explain why exactly MSU suspended these funds. 

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Members of Michigan State University’s governing board are calling for interim president John Engler to resign.

That’s after the Chronicle of Higher Education published an email between Engler and aides in which he said Nassar survivor Rachel Denhollander was likely receiving a “kickback” from lawyers.

Trustees Brian Mosallam and Dianne Byrum released statements saying Engler needs to go.

Bishop Joseph Cistone celebrating Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in Saginaw.
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Father Robert DeLand was the priest entrusted with recruiting and guiding young men thinking of becoming Catholic priests. He was also the pastor of a parish in the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw. Now, he stands accused of sexual assault and gross indecency based on the accusations of a 17-year-old high school student and a 21-year-old man.

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The Michigan Court of Appeals says inmates sentenced to prison as children can sue the state over allegations they were beaten and sexually abused. The lawsuit says the assaults were committed by other inmates and prison staff.

The state tried to have the case dismissed under a 1999 amendment to Michigan’s civil rights law. The court said it’s unconstitutional to bar inmates from filing civil rights claims against the state.

Deborah LaBelle is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Engler looks quite unsympathetic during House testimony

Mar 16, 2018

Twenty years ago, John Engler was by far, the biggest figure in Lansing, and perhaps the most powerful governor Michigan has ever had. He understood the legislature better than anyone, largely because he had been in it for twenty years before becoming governor.

He was both respected and feared, and lawmakers in both parties thought twice before taking him on. Times have changed, however, and yesterday Engler, now interim president of Michigan State University, found himself testifying before a skeptical senate subcommittee.

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The Michigan State Senate may vote this week on a package of bills inspired by the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case. However, some groups are expressing concern that the legislation would retroactively extend the time victims would have to file lawsuits and remove an immunity defense for governmental agencies.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Update, Sept. 10, 2018:

Michigan State University has frozen the Healing Assistance Fund while a fraudulent claim is investigated. 

The university says it will reopen the fund when the investigation is complete, but when that will happen is unknown.

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The Catholic Church's lobbying arm in Michigan says it has concerns with a bill that would retroactively lengthen the time limit for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits.

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Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Another investigation into Michigan State University has been opened. 

The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that a new Title IX investigation will look at how the university handled sexual assault complaints against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

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A former University of Michigan pediatric rheumatologist has been arrested and is in federal custody on child pornography charges.

Dr. Mark Hoeltzel was arrested as part of a larger investigation into a sexual relationship with a female patient that started when she was 18.

Police in Ann Arbor began looking at Hoeltzel in December, when the Michigan office of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) was investigating that alleged relationship.

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Larry Nassar was sentenced Monday to 40-125 years in Eaton County Circuit Court.

The former sports doctor pled guilty to three counts of first degree criminal sexual assault. That's in addition to seven counts in Ingham County, for which he was sentenced to 40-175 years.

The sentences in Eaton and Ingham are separate, but will be served concurrently, if Nassar survives the 60 years he is set to spend in federal prison for child pornography.

The father of survivor Katie Black weeps as his daughter speaks.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The second day of the Larry Nassar sentencing in Eaton County got off to a turbulent start when an angry father of three victims lunged at the former sports doctor.

After a brief break to calm the chaos, Judge Janice Cunningham addressed the nervous crowd:

"This is such a unique case that involves hundreds of victims, and therefore hundreds of family members, brothers, sisters, spouses, friends. And to have watched the pain and the suffering of what loved ones have gone through is [unimaginable]...So if it is hard and difficult for me to hear what [Randall Margraves'] daughters have to say, I can't imagine what it is like for a parent."

Larry Nassar
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Larry Nassar is back in a Michigan courtroom this week, as he faces another lengthy sentencing hearing.

Bailey Lorencen hugs Rachel Denhollander
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

One week ago, state prosecutor Angela Polivaitis announced that 88 women and girls would give victim impact statements in the sentencing hearing of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Now the prosecution says that number has risen to 144, and more may decide to speak before the sentence is announced this week.

Larry Nassar
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees and President Lou Anna Simon have asked Attorney General Bill Schuette to open an independent review of how MSU handled complaints against disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Larry Nassar in court with his attorneys, Shannon Smith and Matthew Newburg.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

As she prepares to sentence a former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor for child pornography possession next week, federal Judge Janet Neff is getting a picture of two very different Larry Nassars.

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The argument that bad guys will always find a way to get guns, so gun laws don’t help, doesn’t appear to apply to intimate partner homicides.

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