February 20, 2005

Alleged church victims still looking for justice


Gita Pullapilly

GRAND RAPIDS - Many Catholics who say they were abused by local priests are still looking for justice years later.

But prosecutors say the law doesn´t allow it because they waited too long. A report released last week shows four new allegations of sexual abuse in the Grand Rapids Catholic Diocese.

The incidents allegedly happened more than 20 years ago.

In 2002, Marc Bullerman came forward publically claiming he was sexually abused by a Grand Rapids priest over 20 years ago. "He would put his hand on my leg and bring it up and try to go underneath the pants and stuff like that and I´d try to move," said Bullerman.

He met his alleged abuser in 1981 when he was 15. "When this first happened I went to the diocese, I told him what this man did and they said ok they´ll take care of it. It was hush hush, come to find out they just shoved him off to another place," he said.

It was after Marc reported the incident again, 21 years later, when the diocese removed the priest from the church. "We have substantiated that case and therefore the decision was made to permanently remove him," said Bishop Robert Rose in May of 2002.

Posted by kshaw at February 20, 2005 03:09 PM