Saginaw Catholic Priest Withdraws Sex-crime Plea, Will Head to Trial
By Bob Johnson
October 1, 2018
A Catholic priest accused of sex crimes will head to trial after withdrawing his no contest plea.
The Rev. Robert "Father Bob" DeLand withdrew his plea on Friday, Sept. 28, according to Saginaw County Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gaertner.
Gaertner said Monday that DeLand did not want to accept the potential sentence he faces and decided to withdraw his plea.
The Saginaw Catholic Diocesan priest pleaded no contest on Sept. 4 to seven criminal charges involving three victims.
DeLand had pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving injury; attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct; assault with intent to commit second-degree criminal sexual conduct; gross indecency between males; selling alcohol to a minor and distributing an imitation controlled substance.
Sentencing guidelines for DeLand's plea agreement ranged from 12 to 24 months. Circuit Judge Darnell Jackson, who initially accepted DeLand's pleas, had indicated he would sentence the DeLand to one year in jail without the possibility of release on tether, followed by five years' probation. He would also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
DeLand or his attorney Alan Crawford could not be reached immediately for comment.