71-year-old Catholic priest from Saginaw arrested for alleged sex crimes, drug purchase

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN(WLUC)
Published: Feb. 26, 2018 at 1:04 AM EST
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(2/26/2018) - Police from Saginaw and Tittabawasee townships arrested a 71-year-old Catholic priest on Sunday after a six month investigation into sex crimes and other charges.

Police announced just after midnight on Monday that the priest was arrested at his condominium on Mallard Cove in Saginaw Township. His name was not immediately released because he hadn't been arraigned.

The two departments had been investigating the priest from the Saginaw Diocese since a sexual assault complaint was filed in August 2017. The complainant alleged the priest committed sexually assault while the two of them were at the priest's condominium.

Five additional reports were filed with the Tittabawassee Township Police Department between November 2017 and Sunday, alleging the priest engaged in gross indecency, sexually assault, furnished alcohol to minors an purchased the drug Ecstasy.

Detectives from both departments and the Michigan State Police had been conducting surveillance on the priest since November 2017. Police executed several search warrants during the 18-month investigation.

As a result of his arrest, the priest has been banned from stepping foot on Freeland Community Schools property and CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region facilities, where he was a board member.

The priest was taken to the Saginaw County Jail on Sunday. Tittabawassee Township Police Det. Brian Berg said the investigations into the priests' behavior were continuing on Monday and no formal charges had been filed.

When complete, reports will be filed with the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office.

Police say no children or any other parishioners were in any kind of danger during the long-running undercover investigation into the priest's behavior.