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Former Catholic Priest Faces Additional Sex Abuse Charges

LANSING - A former priest in Oakland County previously charged with sexually assaulting a minor is now facing two additional cases.

Last year, Gary Berthiaume, 80, was charged with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct a 15-year felony.

A preliminary exam is set in that case for July 21 at 9 a.m. before Judge James Brady in Oakland County's 47th District Court.

On Friday, Berthiaume was arraigned on two additional 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.

In Oakland County's 46th District Court, Berthiaume now faces: 

  • two counts of gross indecency, 5-year felonies or $2,500. 

In Oakland County's 47th District Court, where he was charged in the original case, Berthiaume now faces:  

  • two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, 15-year felonies. 

In the 46th  District Court, Berthiaume received a $5,000 personal bond with a no contact order with any victims, or anyone under 18 years old. He is due back in court on July 12 at 9 a.m. before Judge Debra Nance.

In the 47th District Court, Berthiaume received a $100,000 personal bond with no unsupervised contact with anyone under 16. A probable cause conference is set for July 7.

"We remain indebted to the courageous survivors who share their stories and therefore allow our clergy abuse team to pursue criminal charges in court," Nessel said. "We must ensure justice is served against those who use their powerful positions to prey on others who seek guidance and trust."

Including Berthiaume, the Attorney General's investigation has resulted in criminal charges being filed against 11 individuals with ties to the Catholic Church. The clergy abuse team just secured its fourth conviction last week.

To learn more 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.


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.