Starting in 1964, Father Timothy Desrochers served as pastor at several parishes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, including St. John the Evangelist in Ishpeming, St. Mary in Sault Ste. Marie, and St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. Fr. Desrochers also served a twenty-five-year tenure as the rector at Marygrove Retreat Center in Garden.

The first allegation of sexual abuse came in 2003 from a 22-year-old man, who complained that Fr. Desrochers hugged and massaged him during confession. When confronted by church authorities, Fr. Desrochers denied the allegations.

In 2007, the Diocese received an email containing nude pictures of Fr. Desrochers posted on—a website where older men could meet younger men. Fr. Desrochers downplayed these images as “not a big deal.” However, following an investigation, he was barred from carrying out any priestly services.

Later, a 2011 Schoolcraft County Sheriff’s Department letter informed the Diocese that Fr. Desrochers was having a sexual relationship with an inmate. These allegations were backed up by phone conversations between Fr. Desrochers and the prisoner, where the two discussed engaging in oral sex.

Despite these documented instances of misconduct—along with losing his ministerial authority in 2007—Fr. Desrochers remained a priest until he died in 2020.

At Sommers Schwartz, experienced 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 Dr. Robert Anderson, who sexually abused students, athletes, and other patients for over thirty-five years at the University of Michigan.

Today, we want to fight for you, too.

If Fr. Desrochers or another ecclesiastical leader has sexually abused you, don’t wait. Contact Sommers Schwartz for a free consultation. We will help you pursue your case with the compassion, empathy, and sensitivity you deserve.

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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