Jessica Mathews /

A former priest who began his career in Livingston County and pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges in a neighboring county has been sentenced.

74-year-old Timothy Crowley was sentenced to one year in the Washtenaw County Jail and must serve five years of probation. He was also ordered to receive sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Crowley was sentenced by Judge Patrick Conklin in the 22nd Circuit Court in Washtenaw County. He pleaded guilty to two counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct back in August.

Crowley, who had been a priest at St. Thomas Rectory in Ann Arbor, was arrested in 2019 in Arizona. His case was initially dismissed in 2019 after a judge determined the statute of limitations had expired but the Michigan Attorney General’s office prevailed in the Court of Appeals.

Crowley began his priesthood at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Brighton in 1979 as an assistant chaplain before he moved a year later to a Flint parish. In June 1982 he transferred to a parish in Jackson, where the abuse is alleged to have begun involving a 10-year-old altar boy and continued until he admitted his actions to church leaders in 1993. He was eventually defrocked in 2015. There is no evidence Crowley committed abuse while he worked in Brighton.

Crowley is the ninth clergyman convicted by the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s clergy abuse investigation team. His sentencing completes the prosecutions of the five original priests charged with sexual assault arising from the Department’s clergy abuse investigation.

The Department’s investigation into clergy abuse at Michigan’s seven Catholic dioceses began in 2018 with assistance from the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies. The Attorney General ultimately criminally charged 11 priests throughout the state, securing 20 convictions against nine clergymen, delivering justice for 44 survivors. Two charged priests await extradition from India.

Nessel said "I continue to be proud of the work my clergy abuse team is doing to obtain justice in these cases. This sentence will never erase the pain Mr. Crowley inflicted on those who trusted him, but it serves as an example of our pursuit of justice related to clergy abuse and, hopefully, can provide some sense of relief to his many victims.”