A Catholic priest who was arrested for sexually abusing several young males, including one teenage boy he said tried to “seduce” him, has been convicted on seven sex assault charges.
We last covered the case of Rev. Robert DeLand (known as “Father Bob”) when the parents of one of his victims said he had “groomed” their son for a sexual relationship. Now, DeLand has pleaded no contest to all charges (meaning he didn’t verbally admit to the crimes but was convicted nonetheless).
The charges are divided among five files and involve three victims. The most serious crime is second-degree criminal sexual conduct, being a 15-year felony. The charge does not involve penetration and is limited to touching.
DeLand’s trial on some of the charges was to begin with jury selection Wednesday morning.
Judge Darnell Jackson, who is overseeing the case, has said he would sentence “Father Bob” to only one year in jail for his crimes; the plea deal allowed for a maximum of two years behind bars.
Jackson indicated he would sentence DeLand to one year in jail without the possibility of release on tether. This was based on sentencing guidelines that placed DeLand’s minimum sentence in a range of 12 to 24 months. Deland also will receive a five-year probation term, which is the longest possible by law, and will be required to register as a sex offender.
“We are satisfied that Mr. DeLand has been held accountable for all of his misconduct in all of the cases that we filed,” said Saginaw County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mark Gaertner.
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that DeLand will be off the streets (and out of the confession booth) for a year. But there’s no way he was “held accountable for all of his misconduct.” It’s hard to imagine a year of discomfort makes up for a lifetime of trauma he inflicted on his victims.
(Thanks to @You_For_E_Ugh for the link)