MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – A report from the Department of the Attorney General was released on Thursday by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel documenting allegations of sexual abuse that took place in the Marquette Catholic Diocese.

“The list includes 44 priests across Michigan, 38 of whom were employed or incardinated by the Marquette Diocese, and includes name of priests against which there were allegation of sexual misconduct against children or adults since January 1, 1950,” said Nessel.

The report, which can be read in full here, includes all of the information obtained from the Department of Attorney General tip line, victim interviews, police investigations, open-source media, paper documents seized from the Diocese, and electronic documents found on the Diocesan computers, as well as reports of allegations disclosed by the Diocese, according to a release from Nessel.

“The report contains detailed descriptions of allegations of sexual abuse and other sexual misconduct including grooming against minors and adults,” Nessel says. “Going back to the 1950s.”

Nessel says the list of priests comes from information gathered following a search warrant executed against the Diocese of Marquette on October 3, 2018. Nessel’s office is partnering with Michigan State Police during the investigation, which includes all seven of the Catholic Diocese within Michigan.

The report on the Marquette Diocese is the first of the seven to be released. In total, 52 tips regarding the Marquette Diocese have been collected over the course of the investigation, 16 of which were provided by the Diocese of Marquette.

220 boxes of paper documents were seized in the investigation, and approximately 74,000 documents have been reviewed concerning the Marquette Diocese as well as 861,686 electronic documents.

In response to these allegations Bishop John F. Doerfler held a press conference today to reinforce the church’s stance on sexual abuse, and the willingness on the part of the diocese to cooperate with any and all investigations into sexual abuse.

“On behalf of the church, I offer a sincere apology to anyone who has been abused by clergy in the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Doerfler. “You are and should have been our priority. There is no excuse for what happened to you. It is especially grievous if your voice was not heard. Thank you to those who have courageously come forward to bring light into this darkness which has brought so much harm.”

Doerfler went on to encourage anyone who was the victim of abuse to come forward.

“And I just want to say to anyone who’s been harmed by clergy sexual abuse, please come forward,” said Doerfler. “We want to walk with you in that healing journey.”

Though the allegations go back as far as the 1950’s, victims may come forward decades after the abuse, suffering emotional anguish and life challenges as a result. Nessel says the report could not have been possible with the brave victims who came forward.

“I specifically want to thank the survivors who have shared their stories,” Nessel said. “Sometimes after decades of silence. Their willingness to come forward helped bring attention to an issue that has affected so many in our state and so many in our country, including children”

The Diocese, and the Attorney General remind us that the allegations in this report are just that, allegations, and remain so until someone is proven guilty in court..

You can see the entire news conference here