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Statute of Limitations Runs Out for Priest Accused of Abuse
It appears the statute of limitations has run out in the case of a central Illinois priest accused of sexually abusing a child.
The Morgan County State's Attorney says his hands are tied in the case. That's based on the information his office has received so far on this particular accusation.
As we first told you last month, Rev. Robert "Bud" DeGrand was accused of sexually abusing a boy back in 1980. That's when he led Our Savior Parish in Jacksonville.
However, the accusation didn't surface until last month--more than 30 year's later.
The state's attorney said because of that, no criminal charges can be brought against DeGrand unless another alleged victim comes forward--a person who claims they were abused at the hands of DeGrand more recently.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, which oversees the parishes DeGrand has led, is continuing its own investigation.
"The Springfield Catholic diocese is very concerned about allegations, and we take these allegations very seriously," diocese spokesperson Kathie Sass said. "We are concerned for the victims and also for the truth, that the truth comes out."
The state's attorney's office said a person accused of sexual abuse can be prosecuted until the alleged victim reaches age 38. But in this case, the alleged victim is older than that.
It is still possible to get an extension if anything new surfaces in the investigation. That's why they're still looking into this particular claim, and waiting to see if anyone else will come forward.
DeGrand has led parishes in Winchester, Bluffs, Granite City, Siegel, Neoga, Green Creek, and Lillyville. He has temporarily stepped aside from those duties, and is cooperating fully with the investigation.