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Lansing Diocese 'Welcomes' AG investigation into clergy sex abuse

Posted: 4:34 PM, Sep 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-22 09:22:13-04

The Michigan attorney general is asking the public to share confidential tips about possible sexual abuse by priests in the state.

Attorney General Bill Schuette's website says a "full and complete investigation" is necessary, weeks after a grand jury report in Pennsylvania said an estimated 300 Roman Catholic priests there molested more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

Spokeswoman Andrea Bitely said Friday the Michigan probe was prompted by the Pennsylvania report.

Many states have taken similar steps .

In a letter to WOOD-TV, Schuette's office says it's investigating allegations that could go back to 1950, including any cover-up by church officials.

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing says it welcomes the Attorney General's investigation into sexual abuse of minors by priests and other clergy members.

The AG's office announced the investigation Wednesday, in response to a Freedom of Information request from WOOD TV 8 in Grand Rapids. The probe into all seven Michigan dioceses was launched in August. It will look into alleged crimes dating back to 1950.

"The Diocese of Lansing welcomes a review of our handling of abuse cases by Michigan’s Attorney General," says the Lansing Diocese in a statement on it's website. "We are confident in our processes. We have and will continue to reach out to law enforcement with these matters."

Earlier this month, Bishop Boyea announced the Diocese would hire an outside agency to review it's handling of sexual abuse allegations of minors, and would make public the names of those who abused minors.

The Diocese says it does not know of anyone in active ministry who has abused a child, and believes the last known case of abuse happened before 2002.