Detective sacked for nabbing predator priest sues police chief


May 29, 2020

By Christine Niles

A detective whose work landed a predator priest in jail is suing his police chief for retaliation.

“I’d like to make sure police officers know they have rights too and encourage them to always do what’s right, no matter what the cost,” said Detective Brian Berg, formerly chief detective of the Tittabawassee Police Department in Michigan, in comments to Church Militant. “I also want my reputation I’ve worked my whole life for restored.”

Berg led the investigation of Saginaw priest Fr. Robert DeLand, currently serving 2–15 years in prison for sex abuse. The priest was arrested in February 2018 after Berg’s four-month covert operation, which included damning audio recordings of the priest’s sexual grooming and assault of the male victim. The undercover sting led to DeLand’s arrest in February 2018 and his conviction last year.

Church Militant first aired the audio recordings in a special report in May 2019, which revealed disturbing conversations by the priest encouraging the teen to watch gay pornography and engage in homosexual activity, as well as the priest’s offer of cash, gifts, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs to the underage male.

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