Former Jacksonville Priest Under Investigation For Abuse
A priest who formerly served at a Jacksonville church is under investigation for sexual misconduct. The Springfield Diocese issued a statement saying the Reverend Robert "Bud" DeGrand has temporarily withdrawn from the ministry. He most recently was involved with parishes in east central Illinois in Sigel, Neoga, Green Creek and Lillyville.
The Diocese says officials were informed of an allegation against DeGrand on September 9th. Few details about the allegation were made available, although it stems from the time DeGrand was serving the Our Savior Parish in Jacksonville in 1980. The Diocese also says it has a strict policy on Sexual Abuse of Minors by Church Personnel. Bishop Thomas Paprocki says the Diocese takes the allegations very seriously. He says the goal is to assess any potential risk to minors and the needs of the Church.
“It involves the cleric withdrawing himself at once from public ministry until a more definitive determination of the allegation can be made,” he said. “It is not a judgment of guilt, and it is not equivalent to a canonical suspension or any other penal sanction. It does not affect any ecclesiastical office that he holds; thus, he remains pastor until such time as a definitive determination can be made regarding the allegation.”
The Morgan County State's Attorney and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services have also been contacted about the case.
DeGrand, 61, has also been involved previously in parishes in Winchester and Bluffs.