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Michigan priest accused of assault gets a year in prison

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for June 14, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for June 14, 2023 05:09

An 84-year-old Catholic priest who was accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy in 1987 has been sentenced to a year in a Michigan jail under a plea deal with state prosecutors.

The Rev. Vincent DeLorenzo returned to court in Flint on Tuesday, about two months after pleading guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct.

Other charges were dismissed as part of an agreement that spared victims from testifying at trial, though five people gave victim-impact statements in court, the attorney general's office said.

"Justice did come for the victims in this case," defense attorney Michael Manley said.

DeLorenzo did not speak in court. He was accused of assaulting the 5-year-old boy after a funeral for a member of the boy's family.

DeLorenzo served at several churches, including three in Genesee County. In 2002, he was suddenly removed from Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, a suburb of Flint. He publicly acknowledged that he had "inappropriate sexual contact" with a child years earlier.

DeLorenzo, however, was not charged by local authorities. He was living in Florida when state prosecutors charged him in 2019. The statute of limitations had stopped applying to his case when he moved out of Michigan.

"The defendant acknowledging his guilt and his acceptance of responsibility for the abuse he perpetrated was an important part of this healing process for the survivors of DeLorenzo," the attorney general's office said.

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