More than 150 tips in Catholic Church investigation

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/WOOD) — The Michigan Attorney General's Office says it has received more than 150 tips from the public as it looks into allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic priests across the state.

The tips have come into a telephone hotline and the office's website, spokeswoman Andrea Bitely told WOOD TV8's Lansing sister station WLNS. She declined to comment further, citing an ongoing investigation.

Last month, Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the launch of the investigation, which will examine allegations of sexual abuse and assault of children by Catholic priests at all seven dioceses in Michigan dating as far back as 1950. It will also look into any potential cover-ups.

The probe was prompted by a grand jury report in Pennsylvania said roughly 300 priests molested more than 1,000 children since the 1940s.

Catholic dioceses across Michigan, all of which were served search warrants earlier this month, said they're fully cooperating with the investigation.

In addition, Bishop Earl Boyea, who leads the Diocese of Lansing, announced he is planning to invite an external agency of lay professionals to audit his diocese's files and verify that it handled allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clerics appropriately.

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