Taskforce Formed to Investigate Allegations of "Abuse" in Catholic Diocese of Saginaw
By Bob Johnson
March 8, 2018
A taskforce has been formed to investigate allegations of abuse involving the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.
Saginaw County Prosecutor John McColgan Jr. announced on Thursday, March 8, the formation of a taskforce after officials charged the Rev. Robert DeLand Jr. with one count of attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct/personal injury, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and a count of gross indecency between male persons -- all felonies.
The investigation of DeLand, 71, known as Father Bob, stems from an investigation by the Saginaw Township and Tittabawassee Township police departments.
DeLand was criminally charged with sexually assaulting a man and a teen, and has since been ordered not to wear his clerical attire, present himself as a priest in public or perform ministry until the conclusion of his criminal case.
The order came from the Rev. Joseph Cistone, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.
Since charges against DeLand were issued, police agencies have received a number of tips regarding alleged abuse that stretch from 1970, according to the prosecutor's office.
The prosecutor's office will work alongside the Saginaw Township Police Department, the Tittabawassee Township Police Department, the Michigan State Police, and various other state and federal agencies.
DeLand was released on GPS tether and restricted from having contact with the victims or anyone under 21 years old.
Saginaw County Prosecutor John McColgan Jr. is announcing the formation of a special investigative team to coordinate and investigate allegations of abuse involving officials within the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.
Priest sexual abuse probe could involve more clergy, police say
Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner said that the investigation will not dwell on rumors.
"We are going to follow the evidence and go where it leads us," Gaertner said.
Those with information on alleged abuse occurring in Saginaw Township can call Detective Scott Jackson at 989-791-7226, while those with information on alleged abuse occurring in Tittabawassee Township can call Detective Brian Berg at 989-695-9623.
Anyone with information on alleged abuse occurring in other areas of Saginaw County or in surrounding counties can call Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Chris Siegert at 989-495-5555.
Tips also can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.