The Latest: Cops: Abuse victims should call us, not church

April 13, 2018

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the hiring of a judge to help the Saginaw Roman Catholic Diocese deal with allegations of sexual abuse (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

Police investigating sexual abuse in the Saginaw Roman Catholic Diocese say people who believe they’re victims should contact law enforcement agencies — not church representatives.

The task force released a statement Friday after church officials announced the appointment of a judge to handle sexual abuse complaints. Investigators say the hiring of Michael Talbot appears to be a “positive thing.” But they also say the diocese “cannot and should not be used as a clearinghouse for the reporting of crimes.”

Talbot will help the diocese after he retires from the Michigan appeals court this month. During a news conference, he urged victims to step forward and promised to share information with police.


12:53 p.m.

A prominent judge who is retiring soon will help the Saginaw Roman Catholic Diocese deal with allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Michael Talbot was introduced Friday by the Saginaw bishop. Talbot publicly urged victims to step forward and also pledged to share information with police whenever necessary.

Separately, the diocese plans to post the names of five priests accused of sexual abuse, some decades ago. One has died and four no longer are priests.

The Rev. Robert DeLand was charged in February with sex crimes against two males. He was pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland. Another priest was suspended in March.

Bishop Joseph Cistone says he appointed Talbot because the 11-county diocese needs a “fresh start” during a “very distressing” time.

Talbot, chief judge at the Michigan appeals court, says he won’t be paid.

Update hourly