Disgraced Michigan priest sentenced to jail, probation in sex abuse case

Michigan Live/June 13, 2023

By Joey Oliver

Flint, Michigan – A former Flint-area Catholic priest convicted of the attempted sexual abuse of a 5-year-old boy in the late 1980s, was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail and probation.

Vincent DeLorenzo, 84, was sentenced June 13 by Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Brian S. Pickell after previously pleading guilty to a single count of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a five-year felony.

The sentence followed the framework of the plea, which called for five years probation and one year incarceration at the Genesee County Jail.

“As terribly damaging, harmful and traumatic as all sexual abuse is, (abuse) involving child victims is even more devastating,” Pickell said.

DeLorenzo chose not to speak prior to being sentence.

“Justice did come for the victims in this case,” his attorney, Michael Manley, said.

DeLorenzo was arrested in May 2019 while living in Marion County, Florida. He was originally charged with seven felonies across two criminal cases including two victims following an investigation by the Michigan State Police as well as the Michigan Office of Attorney General.

The case for which the former priest is convicted stems from 1987. He previously admitted to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy following a funeral service he officiated for a deceased family member of the victim.

In exchange for DeLorenzo’s guilty plea in that case, the remaining charges filed against him were dismissed. Those charges were related to the alleged sexual assault of a child between 1995-2000, while the victim was a student at Holy Redeemer School and Church in Burton.

The plea was reached after consulting with victims in the case, a spokesperson with the state AG’s office previously said.

Stipulations of the plea included allowing each of DeLorenzo’s victims, including those involved in the cases that were dismissed as part of the plea, to provide victim impact statements at Tuesday’s sentencing. Several spoke through victim advocates and family members.

When released from jail, DeLorenzo will be required to register as a sex offender, as required by under the sex offender registry act, and must undergo sex offender counseling.

A Flint native, DeLorenzo was ordained in 1965 and served as pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Flint Township from 1976 to 1983 and of St. Robert Parish in Flushing until 1988.

He also spent time as an associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in East Lansing, St. Joseph and St. Augustine Catholic churches in Kalamazoo and St. Casimir in Lansing, according to Flint Journal records.

In June 1988, he moved onto Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Burton.

DeLorenzo abruptly resigned from Holy Redeemer in January 2002 after a complaint was made to the Diocese of Lansing regarding abuse.

While the crime occurred more than 10 years ago, Michigan’s statute of limitations is tolled when a defendant leaves the state for any reason within the statute of limitations and resumes when they return to the state, the Michigan AG’s office previously explained.

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