ANN ARBOR, Michigan — State prosecutors say they’ll appeal a decision that dismissed sexual abuse charges against a former Michigan priest.

Ann Arbor Judge Joseph Burke this week said the statute of limitations had run out on charges against Timothy Crowley of Tempe, Arizona. He was among five former priests charged in May by the attorney general’s office.

RELATED: Lansing diocese names 17 accused priests; says no credible accusation since 2002

The 70-year-old Crowley was accused of criminal sexual conduct between 1982 and 1990. He worked at churches in Jackson, Ann Arbor and Hillsdale. The judge said the allegations are “horrible.”

Defense attorney Joe Simon says Burke “did the right thing” by dismissing the case. He says the attorney general’s office knew the case was too old. But prosecutors still believe the case can stand.

The Lansing Diocese paid $200,000 to Crowley’s accuser in 1993.

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