As Atheist Republic has already reported, Saginaw Bishop Joseph R. Cistone refused to cooperate in an ongoing sexual abuse investigation. Now, Robert DeLand, 71, was arrested on February 25 on accusations he sexually assaulted two males in his Saginaw Township condominium. A teenager says a Michigan priest charged with sex crimes fondled him, provided cash and requested that they "party together" with drugs. The allegations are in a lawsuit filed last month against the Rev. Robert DeLand. The lawsuit seeks $75,000 in damages.
Rev. Robert DeLand is now facing new charges. He was arrested again on April 5.The newly brought criminal charges against DeLand include second degree criminal sexual conduct, second degree criminal sexual conduct causing personal injury, controlled substance delivery, and contributing to a delinquency of a minor.
DeLand’s attorney Alan Crawford says his client was set up by police who coached a teen to “seduce” the priest. He wrote in a statement:
“The fact that Father Robert Deland is facing any charges is outright appalling. This investigation, these cases are nothing more than a witch hunt. I am beyond shocked, not at what Father Deland did, but the manner in which the police department operated.
There is no criminal activity. There is no criminal intent. This is a man of God that was doing his job of serving his community and helping those in need.
Furthermore, this case is the textbook definition of entrapment. The police, of all people sent a troubled high school student undercover, that was already on probation, and attempted to use this teenager to seduce Father Deland.
The teenager and his family jumped at the opportunity because they viewed this as a pay day. It’s obvious, they were only concerned with money and rising from their current economic situation. They wasted no time hiring an attorney and filing a civil suit in federal court. For the family this is only about money.
This case is an atrocity. The lead detective was coaching the teenager and telling him things to do so they could CREATE a case against Father Deland. It’s disgusting. Even after months and months of this scheme, still no criminal activity. I’ve never seen anything like this. This is a true witch hunt. And now, the Prosecutors office has realized that their case isn’t as strong as they initially believed so they’ve added additional charges to make it appear as if they do have a case.
The other “alleged” victim’s claims are just as baseless. This an individual that had a .27 BAC and is saying whatever he can to also improve his financial situation.
This is an injustice. When all is said and done I am confident that Father Robert Deland will be exonerated."
The most interesting thing in this case is actually Crawford’s failed attempt to turn the situation in favor of DeLand. We all know that lawyers can be skilled in this, but this time it would have been better that Crawford did not even give the statement.
Photo Credits: WNEM World Now