Former Catholic priest in Oakland County faces additional sex abuse charges

Court gavel file photo
Posted at 1:11 PM, Jun 28, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — A former priest in Oakland County previously charged with sexually assaulting a minor is now facing two additional cases, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Monday.

Gary Berthiaume, 80, was charged last year 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.

He was arraigned Friday 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.

He now faces two counts of gross indecency – 5-year felonies or $2,500 – in Oakland’s 46th District Court.

In the 47th District Court, where he was charged in the original case, Berthiaume now faces two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, which are 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 secured its fourth conviction last week.

RELATED: Michigan's clergy abuse investigation team secures fourth conviction

Tips can be submitted on the attorney general’s websiteor by calling 844-324-3374.