Appeal Planned After Case Dismissed Against Ex-Priest In Sex Abuse Case

WWJ News
October 04, 2019 - 5:59 pm
Timothy Crowley

Timothy Crowley (Photo: Maricopa County Jail)

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ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - State prosecutors say they'll appeal a decision that dismissed sexual abuse charges against a former Michigan priest.

Ann Arbor Judge Joseph Burke this week said the statute of limitations had run out on charges against Timothy Michael Crowley of Tempe, Arizona. 

The 70-year-old Crowley of the Lansing Diocese, among five former priests charged by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in May, was accused of criminal sexual conduct between 1982 and 1990.

The judge said the allegations are "horrible." ((View a copy of the crminal complaint)).

Crowley worked as a priest at St.Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, as well as churches in Jackson and Hillsdale, Michigan.

He was arrested in Tempe May 23 and charged in Washtenaw County with four felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) 1, punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison, and four felony counts of CSC 2 – a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Defense attorney Joe Simon said Burke "did the right thing" by dismissing the case. He said the attorney general's office knew the case was too old, but prosecutors still believe the case can stand.

The Lansing Diocese paid $200,000 to Crowley's accuser in 1993. 

This comes as a clergy abuse investigative team continues to review hundreds of thousands of pages of documents seized from the dioceses about a year ago.  In addition, investigators have been following up on more than 400 tips that have been called into the AG's abuse hotline since the beginning of the year.  

Anyone who was abused by clergy in Michigan, or who has information about abuse to call the tip line at 844-324-3374.