January 30, 2012


Statement by John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director

CONTACT 414.336.8575

The Tomah Journal reports that Michael L. Delaney, a former Wisconsin pastor, was arrested on January 27th for repeated acts of sexual assault against a child and child enticement. The Tomah police department has confirmed that Delaney was still a pastor at the time he committed the reported sexual assaults.

As a pastor Delaney was provided access to families and children throughout his community. It is possible that there are additional victims who have not yet come forward to authorities. The Tomah police have indicated that this investigation is ongoing; therefore it is imperative that anyone who has information concerning the sexual assault of children by Delaney contact law enforcement officials immediately.

Michael Delaney is also reported to have had a prior charge of child sexual abuse in the state of Arizona. In addition to being a pastor he was employed as an over-the-road truck driver who would have come into contact with children throughout the country.

Delaney’s arrest and investigation is yet another reminder that children in Wisconsin are vulnerable to sexual exploitation by adults who are in positions of public trust such as ministers, teachers, or coaches.  That is why state legislators have recently reintroduced the Child Victims Act, which will significantly reform and strengthen the state statutes on child sex crimes making it easier for those like Delaney to be brought to justice.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our national website is SNAPnetwork.org.