Father James Wolf served as a priest in Michigan from the early 1960s through 2005. He ministered in the Diocese of Marquette from 1963-1975. While serving as pastor at Detroit St. John Evangelist Church in 1995, Father Wolf was accused in a civil complaint of sexually abusing a seventeen-year-old boy. At the time of the alleged abuse, the boy lived with the Capuchins, where Father Wolf and two members of the Capuchin order sexually molested him after his high school graduation. During the litigation, Fr. Wolf and one of the other priests admitted to sexually abusing other victims but denied any wrongdoing with the seventeen-year-old boy. Ultimately, the case against Father Wolf was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.

In 2008, Father Wolf and Father Guy Thoren were accused of sexually abusing an eleven-year-old boy in the 1970s. According to the victim, Father Wolf took him into the friary, grooming him with beer and small gifts. He then fondled the boy and performed fellatio on him. This abuse continued for two years. In 2009, the diocese paid the victim $40,000 to settle the claim.

In 2011, another victim accused Father Wolf of sexually abusing him as a twenty-year-old while attending St. Peter Cathedral Parish in Marquette. The victim recounted how Father Wolf sexually assaulted him at the hotel where he was staying, grabbing his genitals while relaxing in the sauna. On another occasion, Father Wolf fondled him while masturbating in the bishop’s office.

Father Wolf was restricted from the ministry in 2005 and is currently listed as retired.

At Sommers Schwartz, personal injury attorneys Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller, Matthew Curtis, and Jay Yasso are fighting for sexual abuse survivors. Our firm has recovered millions from high-profile predators such as Dr. Larry Nassar—Michigan State University and USAG team physician—and Robert Anderson, who sexually abused students, athletes, and other patients for over thirty-five years at the University of Michigan.

If Father Wolf or another ecclesiastical leader has sexually abused you, don’t wait. Contact Sommers Schwartz for a free consultation, and let our experienced attorneys help pursue your case with the compassion, empathy, and sensitivity your story deserves.

Jay Yasso

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Jay Yasso

Jay Yasso focuses his practice on medical malpractice, automobile negligence, and personal injury. He has litigated, mediated and facilitated numerous multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of injured victims for over two decades.



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