Victims testify against Saginaw priest accused of sex crimes

Victims testified against Robert DeLand, a Saginaw-area priest accused of multiple sex crimes. (Photo Credit: Sarah Jaeger)

SAGINAW, Mich. --Victims testified against Robert DeLand, a Saginaw-area priest accused of multiple sex crimes.

He was in court for two preliminary exams on Wednesday.

A victim testified that DeLand paid his cell phone bill, his Consumers Energy bill and bought him clothes.

A victim also claimed that he and DeLand drank tequila together on the night of the allaeged incident.

According to medical records, that victims blood alcohol level was .257 that night.

Judge David Hoffman bound DeLand on charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and gross indecency.

Judge Hoffman also began the second preliminary for DeLand Wednesday as well.

The second victim, a 17-year-old met Fr. DeLand while he was a hall monitor at his school.

In November 2017, the teen alerted Tittabawsee Township police of DeLand's so called harassment and agreed to go undercover and help authorities in their investigation.

In February 2018, while at the priest's condo for a sleepover, Fr. DeLand allegedly rubbed the victims back, feet, and his butt.

No date has been set for when the two trials will begin. Fr. DeLand will be back in front of Judge Hoffman on Friday afternoon when a third alleged victim will take the stand.

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