Nessel issues sex abuse charges against 2 U.P. clergymen
State Attorney General Dana Nessel announced charges Friday against two more priests who served in Michigan's Upper Peninsula following investigations by her office.
Multiple charges have been filed in three Upper Peninsula counties against Gary Allen Jacobs and Roy Joseph, both former priests associated with the Catholic Diocese of Marquette, Nessel said.
Jacobs, 74, faces multiple criminal sexual charges for incidents reportedly occurring between Jan. 1, 1981, and Dec. 31, 1984, in Ontonagon County and between March 1, 1984, and April 30, 198,4 in Dickinson County.
Jacobs, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was arrested Friday in New Mexico and will be extradited to Michigan to face seven charges in two cases in Ontonagon County.
He faces six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child between the ages of 13 and 16, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child between 13 and 16. In Dickinson County, Jacobs faces one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving someone under 13 years old.
The charges carry up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring for each of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, and up to 15 years in prison for each second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.
Joseph, 52, previously of Marquette, faces charges in Marquette County of one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The incident reportedly occurred on Feb. 21, 2006, while Joseph served as a priest in Marquette County. The felony crime is punishable by up to life in prison and a lifetime of electronic monitoring. Joseph resides in India.
"Our team continues to vigorously pursue this investigation to ensure justice for the victims who courageously come forward and identify their abusers," Nessel said in a press release Friday. "Our team of investigators are working day in and day out to hold these defendants accountable."
Nessel's office recently hired Paul Carbini as its full-time victim advocate for its Clergy Abuse Investigation Team. He formerly served as the assistant director of direct services with Sexual Response at Columbia University in New York.
The investigation team has reviewed 130 cases for potential charges, 50 of which were closed because the statute of limitations barred prosecution in the cases or the priest in question had died, Nessel said. Twenty-five cases have been referred back to the diocese for action because the priests were in active ministry.
Seven other priests have been charged, two of whom have pleaded guilty, in the wide-ranging investigation that so far has included 1.5 million seized paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents. The information has been reviewed by 32 volunteers who put in more than 1,400 hours at night and on weekends, Nessel said in December.
The Archdiocese of Detroit is cooperating with the investigation, said Ned McGrath, spokesman for the archdiocese. At the end of 2018, the Archdiocese of Detroit was aware of about 150 victims and 75 clerics credibly accused within the archdiocese between 1950 to 2018.
At the end of December, Nessel's office had received 641 tips on its clergy abuse hotline, identified 270 priests alleged to be abusers and received allegations involving 552 victims of clergy sexual abuse, she said. She estimated her office would identify "several thousand" victims by the end of the investigation.