Opinion: Sexual abuse claims are plaguing Michigan; laws that protect victims are the curePosted: January 21, 2022
Read this opinion piece from The Detroit News that ran yesterday:
And speaking of more headline-grabbing instances of abuse, this week defrocked priest Gary Berthiaume was sentenced to 17 months in prison after pleading guilty to sex crimes against boys, committed during the OCCK era in the very church this priest was serving, the aptly named Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Farmington Hills, MI. https://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/farmington/2022/01/20/former-farmington-priest-sent-prison-sexual-assault-cases/6591361001/ Brave survivors and their representatives spoke at his sentencing hearing. Berthiaume’s attorney, Michael Smith, pulled the old disparage the “alleged” victims stunt these defense attorneys have been using for 50 years. It’s time for that shit to stop as well, especially after your client plead guilty. Try some dignity for a change.
I’m keeping an eye on this guy. This guy goes back to the same time and place as the OCCK crimes. He hasn’t shown up in MDOC yet. Hopefully he will end up in the general population at Jackson. But some defrocked priest who had someone/some entity post his $50K bond so he could chill at a hotel while awaiting the inevitable, probably worked out some easier lock-up. The kind where none of his cell mates could administer their own form of polygraph as concerns cases like the OCCK, right Gary?
Maybe as public awareness is increased in Michigan (finally), it will become much more difficult for predators–and those who operate under color of state law to cover for them–to hide. No statute of limitations. No immunity. Out these people, all of them.