Five Michigan Catholic Priests Suspended Pending Investigation Into ‘Credible Child Sex Abuse Allegations’

The Honorable Michael J. Talbot of the Michigan State Appeals Court will assume full authority within the Diocese of Saginaw with regards to all matters involving the alleged sexual abuse of minors and sexual misconduct by clergy and diocesan representatives. Photo: Photo Provided
The Honorable Michael J. Talbot of the Michigan State Appeals Court will assume full authority within the Diocese of Saginaw with regards to all matters involving the alleged sexual abuse of minors and sexual misconduct by clergy and diocesan representatives.

Midland Daily News

“Five former priests, including three with local connections, were removed from ministry because of credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors, it was announced by the Diocese of Saginaw.

They are:

• John E. Hammer (former priest, associate pastor, Blessed Sacrament, 1991-1995)

• Jack E. Leipert (former priest, temporary administrator St. Philip Neri, Coleman, and St. Anne, Edenville, 1978, and Sacred Heart, Bad Axe, 1990-2001 )

• Leonard F. Wilkuski (former priest, assistant pastor, St. Brigid of Kildare, Midland, 1963-1965 and pastor, 1990-1999)

• Stanislaus A. Bur (former priest – deceased)

• Richard L Howard (former deacon)

In addition, two priests are currently on administrative leave related to allegations under investigation. They are: Robert J. DeLand and Ronald J. Dombrowski

DeLand of Freeland was charged Feb. 26 with criminal sexual conduct for allegedly assaulting two males, ages 21 and 17. The 71-year-old DeLand has pleaded not guilty.

The names were released by Michael J. Talbot, appointed recently by the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, bishop of Saginaw. Talbot, a member of the Michigan State Appeals Court who plans to retire this month, has assumed full authority with the diocese with all matters involving the alleged sexual abuse of minors and sexual misconduct by clergy and diocesan representatives.

Since the adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms by the Bishops of the United States in 2002, the clerics were permanently removed from ministry due to credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

Victims are encouraged to contact local authorities.

The Diocese of Saginaw places no deadlines or time limits on reporting the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

To bring forward a complaint and/or to speak to the victim assistance coordinator, contact 989-797-6682 or jfulgenzi@dioceseofsaginaw.org”

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