License of former Michigan priest accused of sexual assault revoked at board of counseling meeting

Priest failed to file formal response to complaint

Lawrence Ventline failed to file a formal response to the complaint. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Director Orlene Hawks praised Friday's move by the Michigan Board of Counseling to revoke the educationally limited counselor's license of Lawrence Ventline, a former priest with the Archdiocese of Detroit accused of sexually assaulting a young boy. Ventline was also fined $5,000.

The board's action Friday follows LARA's summary suspension of Ventline's license in May after an administrative complaint was filed by the attorney general's office with LARA for allegations of sexual assault.

Ventline failed to file a formal response to the complaint. Under the Public Health Code, when a defendant does not respond to a complaint, the board considers the allegations to be undisputed and true.

"Unfortunately, the statute of limitations bars us from prosecuting Mr. Ventline for any crimes we believe he may have committed," said Nessel. "However, today's action by the Michigan Board of Counselors ensures that he cannot use his counseling license to lure in and abuse vulnerable patients, including young children. We are grateful for our continued partnership with LARA to help ensure the safety and welfare of our residents."

Nessel reminded Michigan residents that if they have any information regarding alleged abuse involving Ventline or any clergy member to file a confidential complaint online at mi.gov/clergyabuse or by calling 844-324-3374.

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