Roman Catholic Priest Arrested for Sexually Assaulting Same-Sex Teen

Robert DeLand

A Roman Catholic priest in Saginaw, Michigan, has been arrested for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old teen boy. “Father” Robert DeLand was the former diocesan vocations director for the area and is a high-ranking priest. Currently, he is the pastor of St. Agnes Parish in the Diocese of Saginaw.

DeLand was arrested after a police investigation that began when the teenage boy’s parents came forward to present evidence of his predatory behavior toward their son. The boy and the priest became associated when the court ordered the young man to complete community service for the church. It didn’t take long, according to reports, for the priest to develop an unhealthy sexual fascination with the troubled youngster.

The arresting agency was the Tittabawassee police department (two different police departments cooperated in the investigation because it occurred in two different jurisdictions). The department says that a number of complaints were considered in the priest’s arrest. Other accusations, including that the priest bought alcohol and the illegal drug, Ecstasy, for the young man have not yet been met with formal charges. He is, however, officially charged with “attempt to commit criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and gross indecency between males.”

Interestingly, the teenager is not the only individual named in the court documents. Another individual, a 21-year-old male, has also filed complaints and claims to have been sexually assaulted by the priest. Both charges carry a maximum of five years behind bars.

After the 17-year-old’s parents made the accusations, police began a long investigation that included surveillance. They executed search warrants and seized items from the priest’s home, office and church. Part of the reason for the surveillance, according to reports, was to watch his interactions with minors at various events, concerned for the children.

Ironically, the priest served on a board to prevent child abuse, which has since relieved the priest of his position there.

 

[Editor’s Note: HT Lifesite News]


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