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Catholic dioceses turn over documents in priest probe

DETROIT — Roman Catholic dioceses across Michigan have turned over documents in a state investigation of sexual abuse by priests.

Investigators with search warrants collected records Wednesday, about two weeks after Attorney General Bill Schuette said his office was leading a probe. The new emphasis comes after a Pennsylvania grand jury said more than 1,000 children have been molested there since the 1940s.

The Detroit Archdiocese and the Grand Rapids Diocese both said they cooperated fully with the execution of the warrant.

The Diocese of Grand Rapids provided the following statement to FOX 17 Wednesday:

Earlier today a search warrant was executed in all seven Catholic dioceses of Michigan pertaining to the ongoing investigation by the Michigan Department of the Attorney General into the handling of clergy sexual abuse allegations.
The Diocese of Grand Rapids did receive a search warrant which was executed at our diocesan office, 360 Division Ave. S.

The Saginaw Diocese says investigators were at headquarters throughout the day. Schuette spokeswoman Andrea Bitely declined to comment, saying:

“I am declining comment on the search warrants executed today because the actions you are referring to are part of an ongoing law enforcement investigation.”

A priest in the Saginaw area, the Rev. Robert DeLand, recently withdrew his no-contest plea to criminal sexual conduct after the judge disagreed with a one-year jail sentence. He’ll now go to trial.


The Associated Press contributed to this report 

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