Michigan priest backs out of plea agreement in sex case
Saginaw – A 71-year-old Catholic priest in Michigan has backed out of a plea agreement in a criminal sexual conduct case and is expected to face trial.
Defense lawyer Alan Crawford tells WJRT-TV that Saginaw County Circuit Court Judge Darnell Jackson decided that the Rev. Robert DeLand should face a tougher sentence than one agreed to by prosecutors.
The Saginaw News reports the Saginaw County prosecutor’s office says DeLand withdrew the plea on Friday.
Prosecutors say DeLand would have been considered a sex offender, even if he didn’t go to prison. He pleaded no contest in September to criminal sexual conduct and six other charges. He was expected to serve a year in jail.
DeLand was pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland. The victims were three males.
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