(KALAMAZOO) – A former priest with ties to Southern Michigan is now facing an allegation of sexual abuse.
According to WZZM TV, the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo released a statement, saying it has received an allegation of sexual abuse about Father Richard Fritz, who is a retired priest. According to the Diocese, the allegation goes back to the late 1970's and early 1980's.
The statement says the Diocesan Review Board, which is a group made up of laypeople and members of the clergy with expertise in sexual abuse, deemed that the allegation was credible. Because it is considered a credible allegation, it means there are reasonable grounds to suspect that abuse occurred, but a criminal investigation has not determined innocence or guilt.
The Diocese says the Michigan Attorney General's Office has been told of the complaint, and the Diocese is moving forward with ecclesiastical procedures. Until the process is concluded, Fritz will not be allowed to participate in public ministry.
The Diocese says as the present time, they have not received any additional complaints of sexual abuse against Fritz.
The allegation happened before Fritz came to St. Mary's Assumption Church in Bronson, which was in the mid 1990's.
It's not the first time that Fritz has faced legal issues. In July 2017, charges of embezzlement against Fritz were dismissed.
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