© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bishop Urges Victims To Come Forward After Priest Charged

Police Lights
publicdomainpictures
/

The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw's bishop is encouraging sexual abuse victims to come forward after a priest who served for decades in Michigan was charged with sex crimes.

Bishop Joseph Cistone recently spoke to parishioners at St. Agnes Church in Freeland, where 71-year-old Rev. Robert DeLand served as pastor. Cistone told parishioners the allegations against DeLand were "the first indication we had of this issue."

DeLand was charged last month following allegations from two male accusers, ages 17 and 21, and police say they've received other complaints since his arrest. Charges include second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The Saginaw News reports Saginaw County Prosecutor John McColgan Jr. announced Thursday that a new law enforcement taskforce will investigate abuse allegations.

DeLand's lawyer has said the priest has dedicated his life to service.

Related Content
News from WKAR will never be behind a paywall. Ever. We need your help to keep our coverage free for everyone. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. You can support our journalism for as little as $5. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.