Former Oakland Co. Priest to Face Trial in Sex Abuse Case

Agency: Attorney General

Media contact: Lynsey Mukomel 517-599-2746
Public inquiries: 517-335-7622


July 21, 2021

LANSING - An Oakland County judge has ruled there is enough evidence against a former priest to send him to trial for criminal sexual conduct, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. 

Gary Berthiaume, 80, was bound over to circuit court today by Judge James Brady in Oakland County's 47th District Court on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony. Today's ruling involves the original case against him, which was charged last year

Last month, Berthiaume was charged with additional felonies in two new cases. All three cases stem from allegations of abuse in the 1970s involving three different victims who were between 13- and 15-years-old  at the time. Berthiaume was a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wyandotte and later Our Lady of Sorrows in Farmington during that timeframe.  

Dates for preliminary exams in the newest cases have not yet been set. The cases can be followed in Oakland County's 46th and 47th District Courts.  

"Seeing Mr. Berthiaume bound over for trial is yet another example of my clergy abuse investigation team's dedication to securing justice for survivors," Nessel said. "We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure those who bravely come forward with their stories receive their day in court." 

Including Berthiaume, the Attorney General's clergy abuse investigation has resulted in criminal charges against 11 individuals with ties to the Catholic Church, four of which have resulted in convictions thus far. 

Last month, former Catholic school music teacher Joseph Comperchio pleaded guilty to sex abuse charges that will result in at least a decade in prison. 

Former priests Patrick Casey and Brian Stanley pleaded guilty in their respective cases previously. 

To learn more about Nessel's investigation into clergy abuse or to submit information, visit the Attorney General's website. Tips can also be provided over the phone by calling 844-324-3374.  

This project was supported in part by Grant No. WE AX 0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General's office does not provide photos of defendants.