Sexual abuse allegation against priest: credible

By Betty Simpson |

Published 01/13 2014 02:10PM

Updated 01/13 2014 06:25PM

Update: 6:03 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- The Catholic Diocese says it's found sexual misconduct claims against a Neoga priest credible. The Diocesan Review Board looked into the case of Father Bud DeGrand.

He's currently on leave from serving parishes in Neoga, Sigel, Green Creek and Lillyville. The accusation involves his time as a pastor in Jacksonville.

The board will now send the case to Rome for a final decision. DeGrand is accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor.
Original: 2:10 pm
SPRINGFIELD -- A preliminary investigation concluded an allegation of sexual misconduct of a priest against a minor is credible. The incident reportedly happened more than 30-years ago.

Father Robert DeGrand is pastor of parishes in Sigel, Neoga, Green Creek and Lillyville as part of the Catholic Diocese in Springfield. The Diocesan Review Board unanimously reached the decision.

While not a final conclusion regarding guilt or innocence, the board's decision determines if the allegation and subsequent information are "sufficient to reasonably suspect that the accused has engaged in sexual abuse of a minor." The function of the board is comparable to a grand jury in civil law.

The case will now be forwarded to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith for further proceedings. DeGrand is on leave from public ministry and his ecclesiastical residence.

The diocese notified the Morgan County State's Attorney where the alleged abuse reportedly occurred. The church's determination of the allegation will depend on the outcome of the Vatican's process.

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