Ex-Mich. Priest Pleads on Sex Abuse
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DETROIT (AP) _ A defrocked Roman Catholic priest who admitted molesting at least a dozen boys as far back as the 1940s pleaded no contest Friday to sexual conduct with a 13-year-old boy.
Robert Burkholder, 83, who lives in Leeward Oahu, Hawaii, was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
The plea came over charges of molestation while he vacationed in Hawaii in 1986. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes.
``While there is resolution of the case at hand, the archdiocese recognizes this is a sad and difficult time for everyone involved,″ Ned McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit, said in a statement.
Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Duggan has branded Burkholder ``one of the worst pedophiles we have ever had in this state.″
Burkholder’s attorney has said his client has dementia.
``We just got carried away,″ Burkholder told The Detroit News of the 13-year-old boy. ``He might have been lonely. And priests are lonely persons, too. We need friendships, and kids love priests. I weakened. I was looking for affection.″
At least 30 Catholic priests in Michigan have left or been removed or suspended from duty since Jan. 1 amid sexual abuse or misconduct allegations. Some cases are under review. At least 17 cases involved a minor.
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Archdiocese of Detroit: http://www.archdioceseofdetroit.org