Police raid Michigan diocese while priest faces sex charges

The Associated Press

March 22, 2018

Police in Michigan raided the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, the residence of the bishop and a rectory Thursday following the recent arrest of a priest accused of committing sex crimes.

Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner said he could not disclose what officers were after in the searches conducted at the diocesan offices, the home of Bishop Joseph Cistone and the rectory at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.

Cistone and the diocese have not carried through on promises to support investigators looking into sexual abuse allegations against the Rev. Robert DeLand and others in the diocese, the prosecutor said.

“Contrary to the statements of the diocese and the bishop that they would fully cooperate with law enforcement, they did not,” Gaertner said. “Therefore it was necessary for law enforcement to use other investigative tools, including search warrants.”

Earlier this month, prosecutors formed a team to coordinate and investigate allegations of abuse within the diocese. Messages seeking comment were left for a diocesan representative.

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