Vincent DeLorenzo, an 84-year-old former priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing, pleaded guilty to attempted criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.
He admitted to molesting a 5-year-old boy after a family funeral in 1987, and prosecutors dismissed charges related to the sexual assault of another 5-year-old boy from 1995 through 2000.
DeLorenzo is expected to be sentenced to five years of probation, with the first year served in the Genesee County Jail, when he returns to court on June 13
He will be registered as a sex offender for life and will have to pay restitution, undergo counseling, and listen to a victim impact statement if one is made at the sentencing.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that this guilty plea would hopefully provide justice to those victimized by DeLorenzo.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) praised Nessel for prosecuting DeLorenzo but expressed disappointment that the punishment did not fit the crime.
Who is Vincent DeLorenzo?
DeLorenzo was ordained in 1965 and removed from the ministry in 2002. He was one of five former Michigan priests charged with sexual offenses against children dating back to 1950. After his guilty plea, DeLorenzo will be formally defrocked.
There is no statute of limitations for first-degree criminal sexual assault in Michigan. But a suspect can be charged only within 10 years of the crime or before the alleged victim turns 21 years old.
Although DeLorenzo had pleaded guilty to a crime committed 36 years ago, Nessel was able to charge him because he left the state after the incident, which put a freeze on the statute of limitations clock.
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.