Could there be more people within the Saginaw Catholic Diocese to be charged with sexual misconduct?
The man chosen to verify accounts of abuse, retired Judge Michael Talbot, sat down with prosecutors to tell them what he’s learned.
Talbot revealed what was discussed during what he called “a very productive” meeting.
“If there’s somebody actively out there now. I want to know about it,” Talbot said.
That’s what he said he told Saginaw County’s prosecutor and assistant prosecutor Wednesday morning.
Bishop Joseph Cistone delegated Talbot to investigate whether there are any other employees of the Saginaw Catholic Diocese who have committed abuse of sexual misconduct.
Talbot said he talked with employees and looked through messages to the victims assistance office, but they have not turned up any more allegations aside from those against Father Robert DeLand and Father Ronald Dombrowski.
“We have no reason to think there’s anything further,” Talbot said.
Despite that, he said he still told Prosecutor John McColgan and Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner he wants to know if their investigation turns up anyone else.
“I think we have a mutual interest, the prosecutor and the diocese, in seeing to it that if there’s someone that they’re concerned about, we need to know about it and get them out of ministry,” Talbot said.
Talbot said he hopes the meeting shows the diocese is cooperating, despite what investigators said after they raided several diocese properties back in March.
He contends what seemed like a lack of cooperation was more of a misconception.
“I think it’s a lot of misunderstandings,” Talbot said.
He believes the prosecutor’s office and the diocese have the same goal – making sure there are no other potential predators in active ministry.
“I’m hoping that we can create something, hopefully, positive and productive going forward. That’s certainly the commitment of the prosecutor too,” Talbot said.
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