Police raid Michigan diocese while the priest faces sex charges

SAGINAW, Michigan. – Police in Michigan raided the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, the residence of the bishop and a presbytery Thursday after the recent arrest of a priest accused of committing sex crimes.

Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner said that he could not reveal what officers were after in the searches that are carried out at the diocesan offices, the house of the Bishop Joseph Cistone and the presbytery in the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.

Cistone and the diocese is not carried out by means of agreements in support of the researchers looking into sexual abuse allegations at the address of ds. Robert DeLand and others in the diocese, the prosecutor said.

“In contrast to the accounts of the diocese and the bishop that they fully cooperate with the enforcement of the law, that they did not,” Gaertner says. “It was therefore necessary for the enforcement of the law to make use of other research tools, such as a search warrant.”

Earlier this month, prosecutors formed a team to coordinate and investigate allegations of abuse in the diocese. Posts search comment was for a diocesan representative.

DeLand, 71, pastor of the St. Agnes Church in Freeland, was charged Feb. 26 with criminal sexual conduct for the alleged assault of two men, aged 21 and 17. DeLand has pleaded not guilty.

Separately, the diocese suspended a 72-year-old priest last weekend after a man said he was sexually abused by a boy. No charges have been filed.

The country has been suspended from the priesthood, while the judicial proceedings against him continue. He is also prohibited from contact with anyone under the age of 21. He is free on bond with a GPS tether.

In a lawsuit filed this month against the Regional, the teenager said the priest fondled him, provided cash and asked them “together” with drugs. It said that the boy met the Regional last May, at a funeral, and at the end of the year, the priest was to call or text, and the teen is at least 17 times a day. The boy said that he fled from the priest’s apartment in February of unwanted touch.

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