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Former Flint-Area Priest Sentenced for 1987 Sexual Assault of Five-year Old
June 13, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced that Vincent Delorenzo, 84, formerly of Flint, was sentenced to 365 days in jail and five years' probation on one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, to which he pled guilty in April. In addition to his jail time and probation, Delorenzo is also mandated to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, is ordered to engage in sex offender counseling, and may have no contact with his victims or any minor. Five victims of Delorenzo’s sexual abuse gave impact statements today in court.
Delorenzo, a former priest with the Lansing Diocese, was among the first five priests charged by Nessel in late May 2019. In April he pled guilty to sexually assaulting a five-year-old boy following a service he officiated for the boy’s deceased family member in 1987.
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 if and when the defendant returns to the state. Delorenzo, who was a priest at Holy Redeemer Church in Burton, was arrested in 2019, in Marion County, Florida.
“Our team continues to work day and night to bring an end to an era of abuse that has hidden in plain sight for far too long and provide justice to those who have suffered years of unimaginable trauma,” said Nessel when Delorenzo pled guilty.
In exchange for his guilty plea, two other 1st degree and three 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct charges were dismissed. The Michigan Department of Attorney General (DAG), Michigan State Police, and members of the DAG’s clergy abuse investigation, are dedicated to a victim-centered, and trauma informed approach to cases, including in making determinations as to the best possible resolution of these difficult matters. Today’s sentencing is a result of consultation with the victims of Delorenzo. As a result of the victim-centered approach to sexual assault investigations, great deference is provided to victims, and to their personal journey through this often-traumatic process through the criminal justice system. The clergy abuse team will not force a victim of sexual assault to testify in court and recognizes the trauma and re-victimization risks associated with a trial. The focus is and always will be on what is best for the victims of these egregious crimes. The defendant acknowledging his guilt and his acceptance of responsibility for the abuse he perpetrated was an important part of this healing process for the survivors of Delorenzo.
The Diocese of Lansing has continued to cooperate with the ongoing clergy abuse investigations. To learn more about Nessel’s investigation into clergy abuse or to submit information, visit the Attorney General’s website. Tips can also be provided over the phone by calling 844-324-3374.